The Michigan State University Extension Nutrition and Physical Activity work group has been invited to pilot a new program called Spartan Performance. This project, headed by Joey Eisenmann, assistant professor in the MSU Department of Radiology, Sports and Cardiovascular Nutrition Division, targets delivery of nutrition education to high school athletes and their coaches. A limited number of Extension program instructors will participate in the spring pilot with the goal of expanding delivery to a broader audience in fall 2015.
Since MSU Extension has offices across the state, we are an ideal vehicle for new curriculum. With our staffing, we can take the program out into the community to high schools that qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program‒Education (SNAP-Ed) to teach their student athletes about proper nutrition. Since SNAP-Ed funds the program, it is currently available free to the SNAP-eligible schools.
Some of our educators and program instructors will provide a one-time presentation; some will do an eight-time series. This will help us determine which model works the best. In the fall, we will try to ramp it up, maybe doubling the size as we solidify plans and review materials.
The following MSU Extension staff will be involved in the spring pilot of Spartan Performance: Teressa Young, Karly Oberski, Tracie Abram, Courtney Latimer, Kristi Evans, Xi Chen, Nicole Wethington, Jessica St. George and Shirley Ringler.
This program gives our health and nutrition team a chance to extend its reach to a high school audience. We already have very talented educators and program instructors; we just haven’t been able to equip them thus far with a strong high school curriculum. We’re very excited about this, and see further possible applications as the program expands.