Improving the Evaluation of PRIME TIME Plus
PT Plus is a 6-week program of 90-minute weekly sessions for families with 3-5 year old children that introduces literature and nutritional practices through activities that promote family-centered foundational skills in early nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and literacy. PT Plus's balanced and holistic approach to achieving school readiness promotes healthy eating, reading behaviors, and critical thinking through the discussion of engaging books and simple high-yield nutritional practices. Piloted in 2015-2016, the 12 pilot programs showed promising results such as 58% of families reporting an increase in positive child health behaviors, 46% of families reporting an increase in healthy eating knowledge; and 54% of families reporting an increase in reading behaviors. However, many of the assessment tools were excessively complex, not easy to administer, and somewhat burdensome to participants. To enable PRIME TIME Plus to reach more communities in diverse regions across the south, a revised and more sophisticated evaluation system that tracks both the impact and sustainability of the intervention is needed. Our proposed project, Improving the Evaluation of PRIME TIME Plus, will achieve this outcome through the collaboration of two external evaluators at Louisiana State University who will assess both components (health and literacy) separately according to their expertise and together design and pilot a revised evaluation system. The proposed assessment project will assess what influences families' food shopping and meal preparation practices, what their core health and literacy needs are, and what behaviors are impacted by the PT Plus program.