Adapting a Community-Based Physical Activity Promotion Program for Rural, Diverse Youth

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The Physical Educator


With school-aged youth spending less time in physical education, school–community–university partnerships offer potential to promote physical activity among school-aged youth. The VERB™ Summer Scorecard (VSS) program was designed in Lexington, Kentucky, to promote physical activity among "tweens" (8- to 13-year-olds). VSS since has been implemented in over 22 communities in suburban, urban, and rural areas, with disproportionate levels of white participants. A community-based prevention marketing (CBPM) approach was taken to adapt the VSS to meet the needs of a rural, diverse population in the southeastern United States. Formative research was conducted with the target audience. Focus group interviews were conducted with parents and their children. Content analysis showed significant changes were needed for the program. Previous versions of the Scorecard did not test well with the target audience, who suggested the use of smaller Scorecards and fobs as a secondary reinforcer. These changes offer many potential benefits to participation reinforcement and physical activity participation tracking.