Resource limitations are an important fact to consider. These limitations will affect the planning and implementation process. Although some limitations may be unavoidable, we can find solutions or compromises for others. This section will inform you of how resource limitations affect the priorities, planning and/or implementation of the program. An explanation of our ideas on how to combat the resource limitations that may hinder the planning and/or implementation of the program will accompany each limitation.
Dr. Tom Burnham is the state superintendent for the Mississippi Department of Education. Our committee will need to a partnership with Mississippi Department of Education in order to suggest changes in physical education programs, school lunch, and extracurricular activities located at the schools. Limitations affect priorities, planning and/or implementation in various ways.
Lack of funding via the school board
Obesity programs within the school system may be last on the list
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Funding left over from other priorities of the school board may not be sufficient to implement obesity programs
Lack of funds halts planning. The amount of funds gives us an idea of what is affordable. Reducing those funds or lack thereof limits strategies to those that are the most inexpensive, which may not necessarily be the most effective.
When planning for a program within the school system, we also need to plan for teachers or staff who will teach/supervise the students. The amount of teachers/staff available and/or willing to work with these programs will determine the amount of programs we can include in the plan. A shortage in personnel will cause us to plan for programs in certain counties and school districts. The plans will have to include the areas that severely suffer from childhood obesity first and focus on other areas once more personnel are available.
Lack of support from teacher/staff and parents
We need the support of school personnel and parents to plan for programs. They must agree with the plans and believe it will work. Without their support and trust, the planning process slows down and may inevitably halt until we devise and plan that is accepted by them.
Every school is not constructed the same. Elementary, middle, and high schools differ in construction and campus layout. A proposed plan for one school may not be feasible for another school. Different plans for each school may be costly. The committee will need to plan a generic model that can apply to schools at each level.
Private and Charter schools
Private and charter schools may have different rules and policies than public schools. Private schools could need their own proposed plan, as well as charter schools. These plans may be costly for private schools due to lack of government funds.
We will need partnerships with school nutritionists to develop healthier meals and healthier meal portions.
Costs of healthier meals
Healthier meals may be more costly than lunch currently served to students. We will need to find ways to cover the costs of meals. We may need to reach out to the school board, parents, teachers/staff, and the community for fundraising and support.
Reluctance from school nutritionists
School nutritionists may not agree with our approach. The schools' nutrionists are key players in the fight against childhood obesity. We will need to form partnerships with them and educate them on the long-term benefits of providing healthier foods to children.
Reluctance from students
Students most likely will not quickly accept healthier choices on the breakfast and lunch menu. Through education, we plan to elaborate on the benefits of healthy eating and prove that healthier foods do not lack in taste.
Reluctance from vendors
Vendors may not believe that they will profit from selling healthier snacks in school vending machines. We will need to plan form partnerships with companies who currently strive to provide healthier foods to consumers. These companies can supply the foods in vending machines in public schools.
Physical Education and Extracurricular Activities
Physical activity is imperative in the fight against childhood obesity. We need to educate youth on the importance of physical activity and encourage them to be active inside and outside of school.
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Lack of funding
Lack of funds may prevent schools from possessing the necessary tools and equipment. Our plan may need to incorporate ways to ensure schools have the tools and equipment for children to participate in physical activities. We may plan partnerships with other organizations that may be able to donate supplies or help to raise funds for supplies.
Lack of participation from students
We will need to plan for innovative techniques that will attract students into participating in physical activity. A task force can brainstorm ideas and offer suggestions to the teachers/staff on how to encourage the students to participate.
Inability of students to pay fees to participate in extracurricular activities
Every student is not financially equipped to pay for the costs of participating in extracurricular activities. Our plan will need to include alternatives for disadvantaged students. Fundraisers might be the most beneficial. A task force can look for fundraisers teams can use to help raise money.
Lack of staff to oversee extracurricular activities
Lack of staff will limit the amount extracurricular programs in the plan. We may be able to plan to staff that solely conduct extracurricular activities but may not work as a teacher/staff during regular school hours.
Educational & Nutritional Classes
We seek to educate children and parents on the importance of healthy eating and living.
Costs of attending
There may not be enough funding for educational and nutritional classes to be free to the public. Within our planning, we will need to assess what particular classes can be free and what classes are at a reduced rate. The longevity of these classes is important in planning for costs. We will need to plan which classes can be offered longer periods than others. Costs of hiring personnel to conduct the classes will help us plan for costs of parents and children attending.
Availability of classes
Class need to be available especially in the areas where childhood obesity is most prevalent. Children and their parents should have easy access to classes. We will need to plan for weekend and weekday classes to offer parents and children flexibility. However, the budget may not allow for a variety of class days and times to be available. Therefore, we must plan on other resources we can use in order to accommodate.
Reluctance from the community
At the planning phase, we are unsure of how the community will feel about educational and nutritional classes for parents and children. Our planning will have to include ways to encourage the community to attend the classes. We may need to plan to incorporate incentives in our plan to interest residents in the community. Incentives may include grocery coupons for healthier foods.
Accessibility to community centers that allow children to exercise is essential.
Costs of participating in activities
We need to assess if there will be costs associated with kids participating in activities. Not every child can afford to pay fees. Activities that are not affordable will deter some children from participating. If certain activities at community centers are not free, we will need to plan to supply funds to the community centers.
Staff to oversee activities and safety of children
We need ample staff to conduct the activities and chaperon the children. The number of staff members affects the number of children that we may allow to participate in activities. If there are a limited number of staff members, fewer children will be able to participate in exercise activities. We will need to plan to have hired staff members as well as volunteers to ensure as many children as possible can participate.
Location of community centers
Community centers need to be located in an area that is accessible to children via bus routes, bike routes, and on foot. The community centers should be near residential areas, possibly within the communities. If the community centers are not easily accessible, fewer children will take part in the activities the community centers have to offer. We will need to plan to place the centers in prime locations.
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