Monday, December 10, 2012

End of Capstone

With capstone being officially over, I have had some time to think about the work we have done throughout the semester. It has definitely been an interesting semester, but I have come to realize that the work we do in the Cleveland schools does make a difference. Mid semester, we made the discovery that an overwhelming amount of kindergarten and third graders fall into the overweight or obese category. At first, it did not really seem like anything we did would make a difference because we were tackling such a big issue. However, I think we all have realized that even just making people aware of the obesity crisis could potentially make a difference.
For our project, we decided to make an informational brochure to distribute to Cleveland's ward with the highest obesity percentage in the children we screened. This being said, we took a draft of our brochure to the three schools located in Ward 11, and received feedback from some of the faculty and staff at these schools. We received a lot of positive feedback, as well as helpful suggestions to improve the brochure. The faculty suggested that we distribute the brochure to the entire community because it is such an important issue and needs to be addressed.
The schools do not really seem to be addressing the obesity crisis that is happening not only in the area, but everywhere. This is only because they simply do not have enough time or money to implement programs that address obesity when there are other, more acute health problems present in the schools. While interviewing school nurses and school principles, it was stated on multiple occasions that asthma, diabetes, seizures, and other more acute health problems seem take importance over overweight and obese children. Although this makes a lot of sense, obesity can lead to other health issues in the future, so I think that a continuation of an obesity project would be a great idea for a capstone group in the Cleveland schools next year. Possibly a continuation of the research we have already done. We have identified several possible correlates relating to the amount of overweight and obese children in the Cleveland area, and it would be interesting to see what a group of seniors next year could do with this information.


  1. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I can't seem to be able to post onto this blog without commenting on another person's entry. Anyways, my group and I also worked in the CMSD schools (the screening group) and our project was about implementing a health curriculum within the district. At first it seemed like our project was going nowhere, but after we started preparing for our presentation, it all became clear. It has been one exciting, but stressful semester! At times it felt like we would never see this project to the end, and other times everything worked out perfectly. I am so happy that the curriculum committee within the CMSD are taking our lesson plans seriously and will begin to take the next steps by integrating them into the health curriculum they are putting in place. I actually feel like I am making a difference, and I am excited to see what the end results will be.

  2. Even though this capstone is officially over, I am hoping that our project does not end with us. As I stated in my previous post, the district is taking everything we've done and planning to integrate it into the health curriculum they are attempting to implement within the schools. I think it would be wonderful if future groups of seniors who have their capstone experience in the CMSD, continue making health lesson plans on a variety of topics for all grades. It would also be great if (a few years after the curriculum is in place and the health lessons are taught) for a capstone group to collect the data on the obesity rates within CMSD before and after this curriculum was put in place and identify whether the new health lessons being taught had an impact on it. It is just so exciting to think that, somewhere down the line, teachers are going to be presenting my lesson plan and activity to their classrooms and I will have made an impact without even being present.

  3. Turning in the paper for this CMSD capstone experience was very exciting. At the SOURCES poster presentation, many of the people we talked to told us that we did a project that meant something to the community. We were able to analyze data of Kindergartner's and Third Graders and discovered that Ward 11 has the highest overweight and obese rates. From this, we wanted to investigate the social and environmental correlates that were causing such a high percentage of children to be overweight and obese. We found many different reasons for this including: unhealthy restaurants, high crime rates, over-processed school lunches, lack of recreation centers, and lack of maternal supervision in the home. Being involved in so many different communities and schools helped and hurt us because each student body was so different and so was each community. In the end, I think we were able to make the schools and community in Ward 11 more knowledgeable about the fact that their students are at a higher health risk.

  4. I finally finished my 300 hours yesterday afternoon! This capstone experience has been very stressful at times but overall very rewarding. I enjoyed working in the schools and being regarded as a senior leader. It was very interesting seeing how much paperwork and computer work goes into just making sure each screening goes smoothly. I made plenty of clerical errors but we managed to solve each problem we were dealt. I really hope that another group next year expands on our brochure and can be more present in Ward 11 especially and in the community. It is crucial that this project continue so the ward hopefully can have less and less incidences of overweight and obese children in the future.