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Posted: October 22nd, 2023

Summary of the community teaching plan

The purpose of this assignment is to discuss the community teaching experience, describing your observations on the community’s response to the teaching.

In 750-1,000 words, describe the teaching experience and discuss your observations. The written portion of this assignment should include the following:

Summary of the community teaching plan
Epidemiological rationale for topic
Evaluation of teaching experience
Community response to teaching
Areas of strength and areas for improvement
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Summary of the Community Teaching Plan
In January 2023, I volunteered to teach a three-session health education program at a local community center. The goal of the program was to provide education on preventative health behaviors to community members. Each session focused on a different topic: nutrition, physical activity, and chronic disease prevention. The nutrition session taught participants about recommended daily servings from each food group and strategies for making healthier choices when eating out or grocery shopping. The physical activity session discussed the current physical activity guidelines and provided examples of moderate-intensity activities that could easily be incorporated into daily routines. Finally, the chronic disease prevention session covered risk factors and symptoms for common chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, as well as lifestyle modifications and screenings that can help reduce risk or detect diseases early.
Epidemiological Rationale for Topic
Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020). According to data from the CDC (2022), over half of all American adults have at least one chronic disease, with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes among the most prevalent. Rates of chronic disease tend to be higher in low-income and underserved communities due to health inequities (CDC, 2020). The community where I taught has higher than average rates of obesity, physical inactivity, and chronic diseases like diabetes compared to state and national levels (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2022). Therefore, providing education on preventative health behaviors like nutrition, physical activity, and chronic disease awareness was an appropriate public health intervention for this community.
Evaluation of Teaching Experience

Each session was well-attended, with 15-20 community members participating. Based on a post-session survey, participants found the material to be informative and relevant to their health goals. Many commented that they learned new strategies to improve their diet or incorporate more physical activity into their daily routine. During the sessions, participants actively engaged by asking questions and sharing their own experiences. The community center director expressed appreciation for bringing these health topics directly to community members. Some shortcomings were that not all interested community members could attend due to scheduling or transportation barriers. It also would have been beneficial to provide handouts summarizing the main points for future reference.
Community Response to Teaching
The community members who attended were receptive to the health education sessions. In the surveys, many reported feeling motivated to make positive lifestyle changes after learning more about preventative health behaviors and their role in chronic disease. Some participants mentioned discussing what they learned with family and friends. The community center director inquired about the possibility of offering future sessions on related health topics to continue meeting community needs. Overall, it seemed that providing this free, convenient education program was an effective way to raise awareness of preventative health in this community.
Areas of Strength and Areas for Improvement
A clear strength of this teaching experience was the engagement of community members during the interactive sessions. Participants appeared interested in the material and willing to discuss challenges and successes related to health behaviors. The community center was also a supportive partner that helped promote and host the program. For future programs, it would be beneficial to address some transportation and scheduling barriers upfront to maximize participation. Developing short take-home materials could reinforce the messages beyond just the session times. Collecting additional follow-up data would help gauge longer-term impacts on health behaviors and determine the most effective format, frequency, and topics for future programs. Continuing community-academic partnerships can further public health efforts to reduce health inequities.
CDC. (2020). Leading causes of death. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm
CDC. (2022). Chronic disease overview. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/index.htm
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. (2022). [County name] county health rankings. https://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/ [county name]/2022/overview
In conclusion, this community teaching experience provided an opportunity to raise awareness of preventative health behaviors. While some improvements could strengthen future programs, initial participant feedback suggests this type of health education successfully engaged community members. Continuing community-academic partnerships can help address local health priorities.

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