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Family Science & Human Development

Just in Time Parenting

Capitalizing on the teachable moment, Just in Time Parenting (JITP) provides a broad umbrella for delivering Extension’s best information and resources to parents nationwide – providing research-based information geared to the child’s specific age -- when it can be most useful and make the biggest difference.  Written at the 4th grade reading level, the JITP series promotes healthy growth and development, reinforces positive parenting behaviors, and reinforces family strengths.  JITP is disseminated in three ways:  (1) Parents access e-newsletters at http://www.extension.org/parenting, (2) Extension colleagues print, customize and mail newsletters with local links and contacts  – especially important for families without dependable Internet access, and/or (3) In collaboration with their local Extension contact, the newsletters are hand-delivered in programs that have regular contact with parents – by physicians, child care teachers, parent resource librarians, home visitors, high school teachers, and other parent educators across the country.

Funding from a NIFA Innovation grant allowed the JITP multi-state team to make steady progress toward providing Just in Time Parenting – starting prenatally and continuing through adolescence – nationwide to every interested parent.  With the help of a panel of distinguished Extension colleagues, key messages for parents were developed, based on a peer-reviewed assessment of research relating to childhood obesity prevention.  In consultation with Baylor College of Medicine’s Children’s Nutrition Center researchers, the key obesity prevention messages were refined and prepared for integration into the JITP newsletters. Click here for the complete report.
Extension colleagues nationwide are registering in the JITP database and accessing the many JITP resources (including marketing flyers, print-ready newsletters, evaluation tools, and PowerPoints for recruiting community partners) at this password-protected website: http://www.parentinginfo.org/  Webinars are scheduled for January 21-22, 2010 to help Extension colleagues make the most of the JITP resources.

Working with Extension colleagues nationwide, we have the capacity to reach millions of parents with key messages to help their children grow up healthy and ready for success.  Extension’s grassroots capabilities and multiple delivery formats can be used to provide the ongoing support parents need to build the healthy habits and skills needed to prevent childhood obesity.  Reaching parents early – and then sticking with them over time -- is crucial to setting the foundation for kids to grow up healthy and ready for success. 


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