Q. What is Change Club?
A Change Club is a small group of community residents who will work together to create positive health changes within their community. Change Clubs will identify and implement a project that makes it easier to make the healthy choice the easy choice in settings where people live, learn, work, or play. For example: revitalizing a walking trail, creating or supporting a mobile farmers’ market or community garden, etc.
Q: Who can be a Change Club Member?
A: A Change Club Member is any eligible adult who wants to help make positive change to their community. This can be anyone with interest and availability to participate…no experience needed! You would complete a brief online screener to determine if you qualify to become a Change Club Member.
Q: What’s in it for me?
A: You could earn up to $450 in compensation for participation in the evaluation activities!
Change Club groups will each receive up to $5,000 in funding towards their community project!
Change Club Members may benefit from the information and skills they acquire during the program which could improve their health!
The information developed in this study may help other people improve their community and health in the future!
Q: What are some examples of projects that prior Change Clubs have done?
A: Change Club builds on a track record of successful community-change projects. The examples below highlight a few of these past projects.
Seven community members in Dolgeville, New York came together with the goal to “increase physical activity year-round for all ages” through the addition of outdoor fitness stations in the community. With the support of their community, they formed the Dolgeville Fun & Fitness Area committee and successfully revitalized an unused basketball court and playground site to create the “Dolgeville Fun & Fitness Area.” The area includes a safely designed play area for kids and a series of “smart” exercise stations for adults.
The community of Clinton, Wisconsin wished to improve the middle school recess and food environment. The group implemented indoor recess activities, Smarter Lunchrooms, outdoor recess improvements, and Recess Before Lunch. In the future, the group would like to create a walking path and make additional improvements in healthy food and physical activity at the school. This group formed into the Clinton Middle School Wellness Committee.
The mission of the residents of Glasgow, Montana was to promote healthy food choices in the community by increasing awareness of local fruit and vegetable programs and by providing nutrition education. One year later, the group held cooking and food preservation classes for community residents and distributed informational brochures to participants in ‘Bountiful Baskets’ — a community-supported agriculture and food hub program.
Q: Tell me more about the Change Club meetings.
A: Early meeting sessions will follow a structured meeting agenda with content that focuses on healthy living, how to create community change, and selection and development of a community
health project. Later meeting sessions will be less structured and focus on the actual implementation of your project. A local extension educator will facilitate the meetings. However, members will ultimately be responsible for selecting and implementing their project.
Q: How often do the groups meet?
A: For the early meeting sessions, Change Club groups will meet regularly. However, the frequency and format of the meetings can be structured around whatever works best for each group (e.g., virtual weekly meetings or in-person weekend workshops). The later meetings will focus on implementing the community project and will take place as needed.
Q: Are the meetings held in-person or virtually?
A: There is some flexibility to meet in-person or online. Each Change Club will work together to decide on a format that works best for their group.
Q: When do the meetings begin?
A: Some communities will start their meetings as soon as all Change Club Members are identified, and some communities will wait for a second round before meeting (approximately three years later).
Q. Will this work be evaluated?
A: Yes. We will ask you to provide annual behavioral and health information to help us measure the effectiveness of this program.
Q. Why is this work being evaluated?
A: This work is being evaluated so that we can better understand if and how Change Clubs impact health and health behaviors. Evaluation helps us figure out what worked well and what we can improve. This is important so that we can continue to support Change Clubs if we find they are successful..
Q. What are the project activities?
A: As a Change Club Member, you will be asked to provide information now (baseline), in approximately 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months. Each round of activities includes 1) an online survey, 2) an online food diary, and 3) 7 days of tracking and reporting your physical activity (e.g., steps). In the online survey, we ask that you provide body measurements including height, weight, and waist circumference. If needed, we will provide a free digital body weight scale, pedometer, and tape measure.
Q. Will I be compensated for participation in the project activities?
A: Yes! For each of the four rounds of activities you complete, you will earn $75. If you complete all four rounds, you will earn an additional $150 completion bonus. Compensation is provided via an electronic Amazon e-gift card or through a mobile cash transfer app like Zelle.
Q: What happens next?
A: If this sounds like something you are interested in, you can complete an online screener to see if you are eligible. To access the online screener, please click here. If you are eligible to participate, you will receive an email confirmation and then will receive your welcome box in the mail. Your welcome box will include instructions for the online survey, online food diary, and physical activity tracking, as well as any requested equipment. You will also receive a separate email with the links to complete these activities. We will contact you annually to complete these activities again.
Once all Change Club Members in your community have completed these initial activities, you will be notified if your group was randomly selected to start now or in three years. We know that three years may seems like a long time to wait, but this is important for the evaluation of this work.
Q: Where can I find out more?
A: Email at us firstname.lastname@example.org, or find us on social media!