**Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) volume 16.1 All rights reserved**
Background: Recognizing insufficient support for healthy eating and physical activity in early childhood education (ECE) centers in Greenville, SC, a group of stakeholders formed a Workgroup as an organizing structure. Members developed and implemented a 2-year community-based participatory research initiative aimed at nutrition and physical activity policy, systems and environment change in 10 ECE centers.
Objectives: This article: 1) describes engagement efforts and partnerships leading to formation of the Workgroup and Initiative, 2) presents data on Workgroup members’ knowledge and engagement, and 3) shares lessons learned.
Methods: Workgroup member knowledge and engagement related to obesity prevention was measured at 2 time points during the EC Initiative using the “Stakeholder-driven Community
Lessons Learned: Knowledge and engagement scores increased over the measurement period.Scores for engagement were higher than scores for knowledge at both time points. There was a substantial increase in perceived leadership and stewardship, knowledge of intervention factors and how to intervene sustainably, and understanding of local resources and roles. An important strength was stakeholder buy-in and ownership of planning and implementation processes.