Choices 2021

2021/03/24 13:00:00

The Michigan Fitness Foundation’s annual Choices training conference brings together those delivering SNAP-Ed throughout Michigan to share experiences, learn about best-practices, and connect to enhance local programming. COVID-19 has impacted how we approach and deliver nutrition education and community change efforts. Join us for our first-ever virtual Choices training conference to network with others implementing nutrition education across Michigan and learn about emerging practices to pivot and enhance your local work.


1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Welcome to Choices 2021
1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Keynote Address – Addressing Food Insecurity During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic


Sheila Fleischhacker, PhD, JD, RDN, National Science Liaison, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture


The opening keynote session will provide an overview of approaches the U.S. government has taken to address food insecurity during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

2:30 p.m – 3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
General SessionHow to Empower Students in Virtual and Distance Learning Environments


John Spencer, PhD, Professor, George Fox University


In this session, we explore how to boost engagement, improve collaboration, and increase student ownership in distance learning environments, including how to improve virtual class meetings, use choice menus strategically, and get students engaged in creative projects at home.

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Keynote Address: Equity, Social Justice and Social Determinants of Health

Speaker TBA

10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m
Break and Explore Virtual Conference
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Concurrent Breakout Sessions


Stirring Up Success Strategies for SNAP-Ed


Lynn Fredericks, President and Founder, FamilyCook Productions


This session will help participants sharpen their virtual program approaches to enhance engagement and discuss methods to assess whether their existing engagement strategies are working.


– – – – –


Equitable and Inclusive Community Engagement Strategies


Ramona Castillo, Senior Associate, MUSE Community + Design


This presentation will outline a recommended process to implement an equity-focused and community-centered engagement approach.


– – – – –


Healthy Places by Design


Timothy Schwantes, BA, Senior Project Officer, Healthy Places by Design

Risa Wilkerson, Executive Director, Healthy Places by Design


The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated disparities around food security and racial and health inequities. In this session, you’ll learn how to stay adaptable, focus on the highest needs, prioritize the needs of communities of color and disempowered populations without throwing out what previously worked, and identify policy levers with the greatest opportunity.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch Break and Explore Virtual Conference
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Concurrent Breakouts



What’s New in Physical Activity


Raquel Vigil, Curriculum Specialist and Co-designer of Edible Education at Home, Edible Schoolyard Project

Nicholas Lee, Senior Program Manager, Edible Schoolyard Project


Participants will explore the Cooking with Curiosity curriculum and consider how the key instructional strategies can integrate into their existing curricula. They will also have the opportunity to discuss and share their own practices around reflection and building student self-belief.


– – – – –


The Role of SNAP-ED in the Michigan Good Food Charter


Lindsey Scalera, Community Food Systems Collaboration Specialist, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

Jane Whitacre, Michigan Fitness Foundation


The Michigan Good Food Charter is a roadmap toward a healthier, more just, and sustainable food system in Michigan. The Charter is being updated and with your help, we can better define the role SNAP-ED plays in advancing healthy food systems in Michigan.


– – – – –


How Implicit Bias Affects Social Determinants of Health


Gloria Lara, BA, Executive Director, Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance


This session will focus primarily on helping participants develop an awareness of health equity and provide them with strategies on how to advance health equity in their respective professions.

2:00 p.m.

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Concurrent Breakout Sessions


Aligning Missions to Make PSE Changes in the Food System


Stephanie Johnson, Managing Partner, Khoury Johnson Leavitt

Jane Whitacre, Michigan Fitness Foundation


This session will address how food policy priorities are operationalized at several levels. The ways in which we can align our PSE work with other sectors to create a collective impact in our food systems will be explored.


– – – – –


Partner with your Public Library


Noah Lenstra, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro


Participants will learn how to start, sustain, and leverage public library partnerships. The focus will be on how libraries, as trusted community partners, can help your community members gain knowledge and access to resources that help them integrate healthy eating and physical activity into daily life.


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Healthy Places by Design


Jennifer Nulty, Owner, Pivot Data Design


Strategies you can use to tell stories in a way that promotes equity and uses intentional narrative, data, and design will be addressed. Using case examples, the principles discussed will enhance attendees’ ability to communicate data findings that highlight underlying systemic drivers of inequity and consider how historical and structural factors impact participants of your program, your program itself, and its mission.


– – – – –


Healthy Places by Design


John Spencer, PhD, Professor, George Fox University


Seven specific strategies you can use to boost student engagement when doing virtual sessions will be identified. This will include how to create meaningful small group interaction incorporating movement and creativity and designing meaningful online instruction that takes students away from their screens.

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Break and Explore Virtual Conference
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Keynote Address – Striking Gold: The Secrets to Enticing People and Communities to Become
and Remain More Physically Active


Michelle Segar, PhD, MPH, MS, Director, Sport, Health and Activity Research Center, University of Michigan


Bestselling author Michelle Segar will explain the latest science for communicating about exercise and physical activity in ways that can overcome common challenges. This interactive session will leave attendees with a new framework for their physical activity promotion work and more empowering ways to communicate about physical activity and exercise among their constituencies.

12:15 p.m.
Closing Remarks and Adjourn

Continuing education credits will be available for dietitians, food service personnel, health educators, teachers/administrators, and nurses (under Rule 2l only). A general certificate of attendance is also available if none of these disciplines apply.

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