The OrganWise Guys Program (OWG)

The OrganWise Guys Inc

Overview

 The OrganWise Guys Program (OWG) is a direct education and PSE change intervention designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and increase physical activity among participants, as well as facilitate PSE changes in the settings in which it is conducted. SNAP-Ed staff or trained classroom teachers provide direct education through various curriculum to youth in child-care and school settings and provide support materials for families. The WISERCISE! program provides 10-minutes of desk-side daily physical activity in the classroom. Foods of the Month helps create a healthy cafeteria environment via daily nutrition messaging and outreach to parents. The OWG gardening curriculum helps establish gardens while children learn to grow and consume homegrown food. These curriculum focus on PSE changes by working with school wellness councils to develop policies that address foods served at school events, establish school gardens, and improve and promote school meals/snacks. Partnerships and parent/adult engagement in positive health behaviors can lead to PSE change that is sustainable and beneficial community wide.

Target Behavior: Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Intervention Reach and Adoption

OWG targets preschool through 5th-grade youth, their families/caregivers, teachers, and other stakeholders at a variety of settings. Successful projects establish partnerships with schools and community agencies serving participants ≤ 185% of the poverty level. This includes after school and summer food program sites, such as parks and recreation centers, churches, libraries, community centers, social service agencies, family care homes, food banks/pantries, and homeless shelters; anywhere children and their families engage. Jackson MS Public Schools continue OWG into Year 16 (~16,750 students/39 schools each year). Expansion includes 17 SNAP-Ed states, Kellogg Foundation projects in 6 states, and over 25 states in summer programming. 

Setting: Community gardens, School gardens, Child care (Learn), Community (Live), Faith-based community, Food pantries, Health care, Indian Tribal Organizations, School (Learn), USDA program sites (not National School Lunch Program)

Target Audience: Preschool (<5 years), Elementary School, Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults, Homeless/Food Pantry Clients

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

OWG includes nutrition education and physical activity lessons for students; parent engagement through newsletters, activities, and YouTube videos; and PSE change by working with school wellness councils to develop policies that address foods served at school events, establish school gardens, and improve and promote school meals/snacks. These intervention components provide the knowledge and capacity for students to improve nutrition and physical activity behaviors. Schools identify needs based on the results of the School Health Index. OWG projects are tailored to these needs and the audience/budget of the implementing agency. OWG programs include the OWG lessons/characters, OWG gardening curriculum, WISERCISE! desk-side physical activity lessons, and Food of the Month cafeteria promotion. OWG can support existing programming and may be utilized in whole or part depending on intervention setting objectives. Training for implementers is available at no cost.

Intervention Materials

Materials are available to order online or by phone (800-786-1730). Orders are shipped directly from the OWG warehouse. Materials can be ordered separately or in kits. Materials include:

  • Educator Tools: lesson plans, implementation guides, training videos & evaluation
  • Kids Club resources: activity books, coloring pages, drawing lessons, educational videos, games, recipes
  • Signature Programs: Food of the Month kit, WISERCISE!, etc.

For a comprehensive list of materials, see the online catalog. OWG curriculum resources correlate to Common Core and state-specific educational standards. To find materials that match each state’s specific standards, use the OWG resource search engine. Evaluation instruments are available for program use at no cost. SNAP-Ed enjoys discounts nationally on some materials such as activity books.

Intervention Costs

Many materials are available at no cost. The full curriculum is available for $3/student/year.

Evidence Summary

OWG practices continuous quality improvement to its curricula, means of delivery, and integration by surveying parents, teachers, and stakeholders. In response to the need for year-round programming, after school/summer camp programming and implementation items were developed. Items for use in the homeless shelter setting were developed at the request of the W.K Kellogg Foundation and the National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) which include nutrition, physical activity, and social/emotional components. 

A 2010 American Dietetic Association publication found OWG participants had statistically significant greater improvements in BMI, blood pressure, waist circumference, and academic scores, among low-income Hispanic and White children in particular, compared to controls.

 master list of publications can be found on the OWG website. 

 Evidence-based Approach: 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 MT1, MT3
Environmental Settings MT5, MT6 LT7
Sectors of Influence

Evaluation Materials

Evaluation materials are available for download at no cost. Materials are found on the OWG tools webpage and include:

  • Pre- and Post-tests for Kindergarten-5th grade
  • Garden kit evaluation
  • Post program educator survey

Food Service and Healthy School Climate Survey Tools

Additional Information

Website: The OWGP website includes information on The OrganWise Guys’ programs, resources, grants, research, partners, educator tools, and their online store.

Contact Person:
Dr. Michelle Lombardo
770-495-0374
michelle@organwiseguys.com