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Afterschool Physical Activity and Nutrition Self-Assessment Too

Afterschool Physical Activity and Nutrition Self-Assessment Tool


This Afterschool Physical Activity and Nutrition Self-Assessment Tool (AS-PANSAT) is designed to help you improve the effectiveness of the policies and program components that affect healthy eating and physical activity in your afterschool community. It is based on The School Health Index, or SHI, available through the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/shi/. The self-assessment process allows members of your afterschool community (administrators, care providers, parents and others, even children) to come together and discuss what your afterschool program is doing to promote good health.

After your group completes the self-assessment portion, you will make a plan for improvements that you feel can be made in one year. You will be asked to identify recommended actions your program can take to improve its performance in areas that received low scores. Then you will be guided into a simple process for prioritizing the various recommendations. This step will help you to decide on a handful of actions to be implemented over the next 12 months. This will be your plan for improvement over the next year.

This tool is designed to be reused year after year, and to help you progress toward a more health-promoting program for children and adults alike.


  1. Choose a leader, or leadership team for the process. It’s important that someone champion the cause for good health, to keep track of the action recommendations that are made, and bring the group together again to reassess progress.
  2. Recruit your work group. It’s important to invite various members of the community to participate in this assessment process. All community members (care providers, administrators, other staff members, parents, and possibly children) will have different viewpoints and ideas. To get a complete picture of the situation, it’s important to gather information from many sources in the community. However, you may first want to do a baseline self-assessment with staff and administrators only. You can then open up the discussion to the larger community. When including children, they may have the most useful input in the Physical Activity and Nutrition sections. Including them in the discussion of questions and scoring on these topics can be most helpful.
  3. Prepare them to meet. Prior to meeting, distribute Part 1: Evaluation Questions to all intended participants. These questions will allow participants to prepare for the meeting by reflecting on their program’s current practices and policies.

At the meeting:

Expected length of meeting: Two hours.

Meeting Objectives:

  1. Discuss and score evaluation questions
  2. Agree upon suggestions for improvements
  3. Prioritize recommended actions
  1. Make sure everyone has a copy of the worksheet Part 1: Evaluation Questions.
  2. Carefully read and discuss each question in Part 1: Evaluation Questions, which contains the detailed questions and scoring description for each item. Select one person to tally the score for the group. Each person’s response should be written on a white board or a large sheet of paper taped to the wall. If there is no consensus, the group should continue discussion until they reach agreement. When this process is completed for all questions, use Part 2: Evaluation Questions Score Sheet to write the consensus answer to each question.
  3. Complete Part 3: The Afterschool Environment, Policies and Programs: Suggestions for Improvement by using the scores from the questions in Part 1: Evaluation Questions. Try to come up with at least four realistic recommended actions for improvement based on the scores.
  4. Complete Part 4: Afterschool Program Planning Questions. This should allow the group to come up with priorities attached to the recommended actions. The group needs to also think about how many of these actions can realistically be tackled in the next year. Take time to discuss your current situation and its implications for future planning. If you have chosen to start with an internal baseline self-assessment, you will want to discuss when and how to bring the larger community into the process.

Follow Up and Continue to Improve

Once you have recommended actions, a plan to implement these needs to be made. Identify resources and individuals you can tap for taking action. Ideally, you would want to convene a similar group a year later. Repeat the self-assessment, reflect on the previous year’s actions, and make a plan to go forward. Small steps thoughtfully taken together over time will move us forward. This is a large and difficult problem. Together, we can make a difference. Thanks for taking the first step!