Power Play! Campaign, School Idea & Resource Kit (SIRK)

California Department of Public Health


The Power Play! Campaign, School Idea & Resource Kit (SIRK) is a community-based, social marketing initiative administered by local health departments and implemented in schools. The Power Play! Campaign is designed to improve children’s short-term health and also reduce their long-term risk of chronic diseases—especially cancer, heart disease, and obesity—by increasing fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity (PA) among ethnically diverse, low-income children. The Power Play! Campaign implements activities and messaging in environments where children live, learn, and play. It includes both school and afterschool models that provide low-resource sites with free nutrition education lessons and PA energizers, cafeteria-based promotions, and youth engagement projects.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change, Social Marketing

Intervention Reach and Adoption

The Power Play! Campaign targets 4th and 5th grade students (9 to 11-year olds) in SNAP-Ed funded, low-resource schools in urban, rural, and suburban communities that have an ethnically diverse population. The Campaign  also provides complementary activities in community youth organizations, farmers’ markets, supermarkets and other retailers, restaurants, faith-based organizations, health care providers, and other public, private, and nonprofit organizations to reach children where they live, learn, shop, eat, worship, and play.

Setting: School, Community

Target Audience: Elementary School

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

The Power Play! Campaign includes:

  • Consumer education for 4th and 5th grade students (9-11 years old).
  • Intermediary education for parents, food service managers, school administrators, and educators.
  • Marketing and visual reinforcement materials (posters) in 4 settings that children frequent: school, afterschool, community sites such as parks and recreation centers, and the home environment.
  • Training for, educators, administrators, and food service managers; technical assistance for educators, administrators, and food service managers; partnerships with community organizations (libraries, parks and recreations centers, sports facilities, food markets, daycares, churches, coffee shops, book stores).
  • Assessing the school environment.

Intervention Materials

The Power Play! Campaign, School Idea and Resource Kit (SIRK) for 4th and 5th grades includes:

  • 10 activities designed to encourage and motivate student to eat more fruits and vegetables and be physical active everyday
  • Parent and Caregiver tip sheets
  • Student worksheets
  • Physical activity supplements
  • Posters

Resources and materials and are available in English and Spanish.

Intervention Costs

Materials are available at no cost.

Evidence Summary

A cluster randomized, controlled trial of approximately 3,500 4th and 5th grade children from low-resource schools in California was used to evaluate the Power Play! Campaign. Students who participated in over a 10-week intervention period experienced:

  • Significantly greater change in FV consumption (¼ cups/day more)
  • Significantly more PA during recess and lunch (5 min/day)
  • Students in both intervention and control groups gained more PA minutes overall


  • Keihner AJ, Meigs R, Sugerman S, Backman D, Garbolino T, Mitchell P. The Power Play! Campaign’s School Idea & Resource Kits Improve the Determinants of Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Physical Activity among Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Children. J Nutr Ed Behav. 2011; 43:S122-S129.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21683281
  • Foerster SB, Gregson J, Bealle DL, et al. The California Children’s 5 a Day – Power Play! Campaign: evaluation of a large scale social marketing initiative. Fam Comm Health. 1998; 21:46-64.

Classification: Research-tested

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST1, ST3, ST4 MT1, MT3 LT2, LT3
Environmental Settings ST5, ST6, ST7 MT5, MT6
Sectors of Influence MT12

Evaluation Materials

Focus groups, dyad interviews and surveys can be accessed at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DCDIC/NEOPB/Pages/ChildrenandYouth.aspx

Success Story

Additional Information

Website: The Power Play! Campaign, SIRK website (https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DCDIC/NEOPB/Pages/ChildrenandYouth.aspx) includes background information, and resources for implementation and evaluation.

Contact Person(s):
Andrea Bricker

Public Health Nutrition Consultant III, Curriculum Lead