Take10! In the Caribbean
Trinidad & Tobago
It is well-known that physical activity is essential for the management of childhood obesity, and yet it is increasingly difficult for children to achieve the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Through the integration of movement, nutrition, and health with the basic academic content, TAKE10! promotes physical activity, healthy eating and learning in a fun and creative way.
TAKE10! is a physical activity program in the classroom, developed by the ILSI Research Foundation with the help of health professionals and education experts, which combines academic instruction with 10 minutes of physical activity.
TAKE10! was designed by teachers for teachers to ensure that it is fit for purpose, that is, an intervention must “fit in” within the existing school system, and must be sensitive and adaptable to teacher priorities, such as time and performance academic.
The program uses the specific learning objectives of each grade where teachers can incorporate activities that align with the daily lesson. The TAKE10! teacher’s manual provides the framework for the integration of physical activity in the classroom. As teachers become more comfortable with the concepts, they can begin to develop their own activities or even allow their students the opportunity to lead the class.
The health landscape of the Caribbean is experiencing significant changes with a decline in communicable diseases occurring concurrently with a rise in non-communicable diseases. This rise is largely attributed to behavioral factors including physical inactivity and poor nutritional habits leading to overweight and obesity. The Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS) 2007 conducted by the Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago found 74% of students in Trinidad and Tobago were not meeting the recommended levels of physical activity.
ILSI Mesoamerica proposes to provide the TAKE10 program to Trinidad and Tobago to support these efforts to improve child health. TAKE10 has been developed for integration into primary school classrooms. With the teacher is the primary leader of the activities, sustainability is improved. Additionally, physical activity is integrated into specific academic segments to prevent any break in academic learning time. The content is organized with activities and worksheets for each subject: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and General Health. Each grade level includes over 40 activities with various ways to modify each activity to increase or decrease the difficulty level.
- Implement the TAKE10 project in the Caribbean countries through the delivery of the TAKE10 kits! and the training of local teachers.
- To do the adaptation, implement and evaluate the Take10! Program in preschools and schools across all educational districts in Trinidad.
- To describe and evaluate the prevalence and patterns of physical activity among Trinidadian preschoolers and schoolers, how these may be associated with various health indices (e.g., BMI-for-age, waist circumference).
- To evaluate the impact of parents’ physical activity on preschool and schoolers children’s physical activity
- To evaluate parental feeding styles and practices, and childhood lifestyle factors that may be contributing to obesity in the Trinidadian preschool and schoolers population
- To evaluate school policies with respect to rules and regulations regarding food consumption among Public and Private ECCE centers in Trinidad.
- To evaluate the sustainability of TAKE10!, in Trinidad and Tobago and the impact on health metrics of the students participating in the program.
- To implement TAKE10! In other countries of the Caribbean.
Project coordinator: Ph.D. Anisa Ramcharitar-Bourne, West Indies University, Trinidad and Tobago.
Project assistants: Gabriella Alphonso and Keron Floyd.
The validity of the project: The project will last 12 months, starting in 2019 and ending in 2020.
During the month of January 2019, the project began, through the implementation of a pilot plan in preschools. In this month invitation letters were distributed to participants in the schools of the St George East Educational District. The objectives of this stage are:
- To implement and evaluate the Take10! program as a pilot study, among pre-schools in the St. George East educational district in Trinidad
- To describe and evaluate the prevalence and patterns of physical activity among Trinidadian pre-schoolers and how these may be associated with various health indices
- To evaluate the impact of parents’ physical activity on preschool children’s physical activity
- To evaluate parental feeding styles and practices, and childhood lifestyle factors that may be contributing to obesity in the Trinidadian preschool population
- To evaluate school policies with respect to rules and regulations regarding food consumption among public and private ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) centers in Trinidad
During the month of February, several activities were carried out:
- It was determined that the sample size required for this pilot project is 8 schools in the St. George East School District; 6 private and 2 public. However, it has worked with 10 schools.
- Consent forms were developed and distributed to parents.
- Apply to the Ministry of Education for permission to conduct the project in six (6) government/government-assisted schools
- Collect completed consent forms from schools and determining student eligibility.
- The questionnaires were developed and tested previously: for the teacher, for school administrators and for the primary caregiver.
During the month of March, the project assistants administered each questionnaire to the administrator and all classroom teachers in each school.
During the months of April and May, the following activities have been carried out:
- Compilation of anthropometric measurements: weight, height, percentage of body fat, skin folds (biceps and triceps) and waist circumference of students.
- Creation of a database of the measurements obtained.
- Contact parents to administer primary caregiver questionnaire.
The University of the West Indies (U.W.I) St. Augustine completed Phase 1 of the TAKE10 pilot project on Thursday 11th July 2019. During this phase, students from five randomly selected private preschools (kindergartens) in the St. George East Educational Distract participated in the study.
- Each of the five (5) schools was given two TAKE10! packages. Each package contained an Animal Trackers Activity Booklet, Animal Trackers Activity Posters, Intervention Activity Log Sheets and Student Evaluation Exercises.
- From the Animal Trackers Booklet, ten activities were pre-selected for implementation. The activities were identical for each school. The classroom teachers were given a period of seven school days in which to implement any number of pre-selected activities.
- The main teacher responsible for executing the TAKE10! program was asked to complete an intervention activity log sheet. On this sheet, s/he had to indicate the date the activity was implemented, the start and end time per activity and any general comments. The teachers were advised to keep the time per activity within 8 to 10 minutes.