In 2008, the Hampshire Educational Collaborative contracted the Institute for Community Health to evaluate a pilot project designed to introduce formal physical and nutritional education into programming for young people involved with the Department of Youth Services (DYS). Funded by a Carol M. White Physical Education for Progress (PEP) grant, the overarching goals of Project HOPE are to:
- Enable young people involved with DYS to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for lifelong health, fitness and well-being, and
- Develop the systemic capacity within the MA Department of Youth Services to promote and support the attainment of health, fitness and well-being aligned with MA State health and fitness curriculum frameworks.
After three years of implementation, the project has demonstrated success in increasing physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake among students in pilot programs. The project is funded through July 2013 and will continue with on-going support from DYS.