Development, partners, author profiles

Addressing the problem

A Missouri March of Dimes Grant was awarded to a collaborative composed of University of Missouri Extension, Southern Missouri Regional Genetic Service and the Missouri Teratogen Information Service (1999) to develop a comprehensive curriculum in response to a need identified by Missouri teachers. Additional support was provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Development was completed by a team of three authors:

During the development stage, Lori Williamson Dean and Carrie Chou were staff members of University of Missouri Hospital, Genetics and Newborn Health.

Contributing authors for the 2011 revision included:

The curriculum development process included a survey completed by Missouri teachers, focus group sessions to identify components needed in the curriculum, and field-testing a draft of the curriculum. The response supported the premise for the project — the need for an organized curriculum focusing on birth defects prevention, with current research-based information, formatted to meet educational standards. Teachers were indeed covering the subject, but an organized curriculum of this nature was not available.

As part of this grant project, curriculum implementation workshops were held in nine Missouri locations, with participants including teachers, county Department of Health nurses, case managers and health educators, Parents As Teachers educators, human services staff, and University of Missouri Extension specialists. The curriculum was then published by University of Missouri Extension Publications (2001), and a second series of eight workshops was held with professionals from county offices of the Department of Health as the target audience.

More than 500 individuals attended the workshops in 2000-2001, with 76 percent of the school districts in Missouri and 74 percent of the local health department offices receiving the curriculum. Presentations and/or pre-conferences have been made at Parents As Teachers National Conference, the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the Missouri Educators of Family and Consumer Sciences.

A 2005 March of Dimes Community Grant awarded to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services funded an evaluation of the use and effectiveness of the curriculum from 2000 to 2005. An evaluation survey was distributed to 600 recipients, by mail and electronic posting, with a 35 percent response return. The Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis, University of Missouri Columbia, compiled the responses. The curriculum was reviewed, updated and reprinted by University of Missouri Extension Publications (2nd edition, 2005). Additional school intervention projects have been conducted in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Missouri Western University School of Nursing, and University of Missouri School of Nursing, Community and Public Health.

The 2011, 3rd edition was funded by the March of Dimes and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services through sponsoring grants from the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, DHHS/HRSA, and Maternal and Child Health Federal Consolidated Program. Collaboration with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Family and Consumer Sciences has been consistent throughout the development and implementation of the Ounce of Prevention curriculum resource.