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  • Author: Jamie A. O’Connor x
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Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods and Jamie A. O’Connor

In 2004, Congress passed the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act that requires schools to implement a wellness plan. Grounded in Ecological Systems Theory (EST) (Bronfenbrenner, 1977, 1979), the purpose of this study was to explore the impact of the legislation, discover what measures have been taken to enact the legislation, gauge how the legislation has impacted the work environment of physical educators, and better understand EST in relation to the legislation at the level of the microsystem. In total, 51 individuals participated in in-depth interviews that were triangulated and inductively/deductively coded. The results indicate that (a) principals and physical education teachers had limited knowledge of the plan, (b) school nutrition programs profited more than physical education, (c) physical education is becoming less marginalized, (d) physical education teachers missed an opportunity to use the legislation for program improvement, and (e) individuals at different levels of the system need to interact.

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Kim C. Graber, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Jamie A. O’Connor and Jenny M. Linker

Civic engagement and service learning opportunities provide students with unique real-world experiences they are unable to acquire in a traditional in-class setting. Students develop a commitment to the community in which they live, exposure to other populations, leadership abilities, skills to work successfully within a team, and a chance to learn from failure. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized the importance of such opportunities and has added the Community Engagement Classification to the restructured Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education. The purpose of this paper is to provide a synthesis of the literature that addresses civic engagement and service learning opportunities and to describe a university class that was designed to provide undergraduate students with a capstone service learning experience promoting wellness for older adults in the community. Data that were collected to evaluate the success of the class are also described.