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VERB™ Scorecard

Implementation

Note: This section of the template provides a succinct outline of the basic steps to implement the intervention. A more detailed implementation guide is available in Intervention Materials, providing a thorough description of the implementation process.

Though some communities have organized a VERB™ Scorecard campaign in three months, it is recommended that groups allow at least six months prior to the kick-off date.  Nine to 12 months lead time is even better.  It’s better to have ample time to pre-test your campaign, design materials, promote the campaign and, if included in your evaluation design, collect baseline survey data.

As previously noted, this intervention was originally designed as an extension of the national VERB campaign, which ended in 2006.    However, theFloridaPreventionResearchCenteris currently rebranding the program and modifying it for implementation year round.

Note:  VERB™ Summer Scorecard transitioned to an online format in summer 2007.

How It Works

Infrastructure Development

  • Identify a lead agency and the source of funding that will support your campaign.  One agency directing the campaign assures that there is specified leadership. 

  • Develop partnerships and organize planning team.  Include a youth advisory group on your planning team to gain input from tweens. 

  • Recruit local businesses and non-profit agencies as VERB™ Scorecard campaign vendors to offer discounts on services, host special events and contribute prizes.

Formative Work

  • Identify your target audience within the tween population.  Segmenting your tween audience focuses the design of your campaign model, keeps your planning team on strategy and enables your campaign to have the most direct and measurable impact. 

  • Identify thebehavioral goal, i.e. how many squares do tweens have to complete and what do the squares represent (1/2 hour or full hour) and the rules for participation, i.e. will you allow activities at home to count or only activities at participating sites?

  • Establish the time frame for your campaign (e.g. school year, summer, etc.)

  • Design and test your campaign materials, particularly the actual scorecard.  It is very important to test your materials with your community, which may involve focus groups and/or intercept interviews.   

Campaign/Activities

  • Promote your campaign heavily andbe creative.  Distribute your scorecards everywhere and utilize variouschannels such as television, radio, newspaper,billboards, school events, a website, etc. to promote your VERB™ Scorecard campaign.  Use emails to parents and youth as an inexpensive channel.

  • Offer physical activity opportunities in a variety of community action outlets, such asbowling alleys, skating rinks, etc.

  • Provide incentives for participation in the campaign.  It is important to keep the campaign exciting and prizes help motivate tweens.  Incentives can eitherbe donated or purchased, and you will need to decide how often to provide incentives.  Most campaigns have offered small prizes for all tween participants and significant grand prizes for some participants in drawings.  

  • Evaluate the campaign. 

Keys to Success 

  • A program champion will increase the likelihood for success.  This person would ideally work for the lead agency and have adequate time and resources to commit to the program and see it through completion. 

  • Promote physical activity as a way to have fun. The health benefits of physical activity do not resonate with tweens, so this is not the appropriate message to engage tweens.

  • Recruit high school students to be involved in the planning process and as part of the team.  Tweens look up to them and view them as role models. 

  • Promote campaign/messages in multiple venues and many times - your campaign will need to be continuously re-energized. 

  • While you do not want the incentives to become the primary focus, it is important to identify incentives/prizes that are “cool” and motivating to tweens.  This will help to keep tweens engaged and interested in meeting the behavioral goals to be eligible for prizes.

Barriers to Implementation

  • Transportation to action outlet sites was a barrier for many sites and is likely to be a barrier in other communities.  This is why it’s important to provide activities where tweens are already naturally gathered or you will need to be resourceful as exemplified by one community inKentucky.  They collaborated with public transportation to allow the scorecard to serve as bus fare for participating tweens.

  • There may be a potential barrier in reaching Latino children due to the involvement of the health department in activities and the “government” may be perceived as a “risk” to some segments of this population due to immigrations issues. 

  • Parents complain about other children (non-tweens) notbeing able to participate in activities,but it is important to address your target audience and focusthe delivery of the intervention.  If younger childrenbecome involved in the program, it is seen as “uncool” and less desirableby the tween-aged target audience.