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Family partnership program addresses early childhood obesity

Lorey Wheeler, co-investigator, and Brandy Clarke, principal investigator

A family partnership program developed by University of Nebraska researchers shows promise for addressing challenges related to early childhood obesity.

With an interdisciplinary team representing three Nebraska campuses, Brandy Clarke, assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, led a pilot study for the program: Partners in Health: In it Together (PHIT). Full Article

Team develops virtual reality game to teach children healthy habits

A Nebraska team led by Changmin Yan, associate professor of advertising and public relations, has created a virtual reality game that teaches kindergarten children about nutrition and physical activity.

Trees line the horizon under a bright, cloudless sky. It’s a typical outdoor scene — except for the giant pineapple soaring overhead.

Kindergarteners playing the virtual reality game must make a decision: What is the name of the fruit they see?

Changmin Yan with Google Cardboard glasses

With $15 Google Cardboard glasses and an interdisciplinary research team, Changmin Yan, associate professor of advertising and public relations, has created an immersive experience to encourage healthy habits for young children in rural communities — particularly those from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Full Article

CYFS releases 2016-17 Annual Report

View annual report: Interactive | PDF

CYFS has released its annual report for the 2016 fiscal year, which ran from July 2016 to June 2017.

This report features research using technology — including tablets, fMRI scanners and virtual reality — to explore questions related to children’s learning and development. It highlights international research in Brazil and Tanzania. And it includes projects taking place in Nebraska communities, from classrooms in Lincoln to after-school programs in rural school districts. Full Article

Study: Strong parent-teacher ties drive positive outcomes for rural children

Amanda Witte, co-investigator, and Susan Sheridan, principal investigator

When parents and teachers work together, student behavior improves, along with their academic and social skills, according to a recent CYFS study.

Using the research-based program known as Teachers and Parents as Partners, the study examined how emphasis on strong relationships between schools and families in rural communities affects children’s outcomes. TAPP supports collaboration between teachers and parents to enhance students’ academic and social skills, and behavior. Full Article

Bhatia receives Buffett dissertation fellowship

Sonya Bhatia

Sonya Bhatia, doctoral student in school psychology, has received the 2017-18 Buffett Early Childhood Institute Graduate Scholars fellowship. The $24,980 fellowship will fund Bhatia’s dissertation project, “An Examination of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation’s Effects on Teacher-Student Interactions.” Full Article