Indian Health Service Online Submission, Consultation, and Reporting (OSCAR) System for Evidence Based and Promising Practices, Local Efforts, Policies and Resources. (logo: A Circle of Healthy Initiatives for American Indians and Alaska Natives)

Indian Health Care Resource Center After School Programs

Program Type: Local Effort - Programs and/or activities that have not been evaluated but are identified by local programs as producing positive results.

After School Programs

Indian Health Care Resource Center is an urban Indian clinic providing services to the Tulsa metro area. We are seeing high numbers of childhood obesity cases, as is typical of most Indian clinics. In our youth ages 5 - 12, 30% are above the 85th percentile on BMI for age. Of the youth ages 13 - 18, 35% are above the 85th percentile on BMI for age. Based on this need, we have established several youth programs designed to combat the childhood obesity problem in hopes of reducing future cases of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Indian Health Care Resource Center provides After School Programs for two schools located about three miles apart. Although they are in different school districts, both schools have a high Indian population. Our mission in these schools is to provide a quality after school program that provides physical activity, nutrition, and other positive health promotion messages.

Approximately 35 - 40 children participate at each after school program. Children receive a healthy snack when school is over. After snacks, the children have a free active play time. Then homework help time provides assistance in completing any school work for the next day. Next is activity time, which provides an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Children typically have two or three activities from which to choose.

We use the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) curriculum. This is an evidence based program designed to promote physical activity and healthy food choices, and prevent tobacco use in elementary school-aged children. By teaching children that eating healthy and being physically active every day can be fun, the CATCH Program has proven that establishing healthy habits in childhood can promote behavior changes that can last a lifetime. Our health educator presents a special CATCH lesson once each week at each school. Our dietitian presents a special nutrition lesson once each week at each school. Our tobacco health educator presents a tobacco prevention/education message at each school once a week. One day each week, the children learn about traditional Indian culture. The remainder of the week, the staff continues the focus on positive health messages.

In addition to CATCH, we also use experiential learning activities to help the children retain what they have learned. Experiential learning is an exciting, captivating method of teaching, great for both youth and adults. It involves learning through our experiences, and applying what we learn to our life experiences. It engages the participants, giving them an active role in learning, and it is fun! The best part is that people learn better & retain the information. We might remember only 10% of what we hear, but 90% of what we do. The result is much more effective learning - learning that will last a lifetime. The experiential learning activities teach nutrition and fitness concepts and are excellent for reinforcing the CATCH lessons.

Staffing for the after school program includes the following positions: Youth Program Coordinator, Health Educator, Tobacco Health Educator, Dietitian, and three Youth Activity Specialists.

Parents and teachers have both noticed improved behavior and classroom performance in the youth in the after school program. We are currently gathering information about the fitness levels and academic performance of the youth in the program to further validate the benefits of the program.

Age Group(s):
Children, Adolescents

Site Type(s):
Community, Clinic/Health Center, Other: After school program

Health Indicator(s):
Cardiovascular Disease , Diabetes , Physical Activity , Nutrition

Service Area:



Name: Nancy O’Banion
Site or Location Name: Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa
550 S. Peoria
Tulsa, OK 74120
Phone: 918-382-1220