Community Action Council of Escondido


Obesity Prevention – Gardening and Nutrition Education Program: Successfully implemented a pilot program at six sites; 200 parents and children participated in interactive nutrition classes and gardening activities using UC Cooperative Extension curriculum.

Obesity Prevention - Active Generations: Supported training materials for this intergenerational program designed to address childhood obesity and related health issues. Senior volunteers lead 8 week programs that include nutrition lessons, healthy snacks and fun physical activities. The primary goal is to encourage healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors for all participants. 85 children and 17 seniors have participated in the program.

Access to Care – Congregations for Civic Action, Healthy Kids Project: Identified families at church with uninsured children and assisted them with low-cost or free health insurance. Sixty-six children obtained health insurance in collaboration with Neighborhood Healthcare.

Access to Care - Passport to Health: Interactive health activities, screenings, and sign ups for low-cost/free health insurance coverage as part of Oakhill back to school night and at the Escondido Civic Fair. More than 900 children and families participated in the events; numerous children were signed up for health insurance by Neighborhood Healthcare.

Access to Care – Resource Directory: Duplication and distribution of 400 copies of the Escondido Education Compact’s Resource Directory to increase access to health and social services by teens and their families.

Substance Abuse Prevention: Medical Marijuana Ban: Supported North Inland Community Prevention Program to advocate for a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Escondido.

Substance Abuse Prevention: Smoke Free Parks: Supported Vista Community Clinic to advocate for smoke free parks in Escondido.

Current Projects

Obesity and Diabetes Prevention - Project21SD TODAY (Transforming Obesity and Diabetes Awareness in Youth)

Project21SD is a school-based screening program is conducted by all Palomar Health Community Action Councils. It includes:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) percentile and blood glucose screening for targeted fifth-grader students to identify those at risk for obesity and diabetes.
  • Follow-up with families of students at-risk based on BMI percentile and/or blood glucose to connect with community resources for access to medical care and low-cost or no-cost health coverage.
  • Education for students and their families about healthy lifestyle habits including eating and physical activity.

Palomar Health CAC Collaborative Partners: Escondido, San Marcos Ramona Poway and Valley Center – Pauma school districts, North County Health Services, Neighborhood Healthcare, County of San Diego HHSA, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Network for a Healthy California at UCSD, Palomar Health staff.

Outcomes for all CACs: 2007: 1 school participated; 90 screened; 52% found at-risk
Outcomes for all CACs: 2008: 8 school participated: 692 screened; 43% found at-risk
Outcomes for all CACs: 2009: 8 schools participated; 640 screened; 41% found at-risk

Student Nutrition and Activity Advisory Council,  a component of the P21SD TODAY Program

Mission Statement: SNAAC promotes healthy students and a healthy environment by developing leadership skills, providing a voice for the students to represent the interests of the students, promoting physical activity and good nutrition choices, and empowering youth to take action.

Background: A Student Nutrition and Activity Advisory Council (SNAAC) has been established at Mission Middle School. SNAAC is a component of the Project21SD TODAY program – Transforming Obesity and Diabetes Awareness in Youth. Several students with potential for leadership skills were selected by the school principal to participate as council members. There are twelve SNAAC members and alternates. Students will be planning ongoing school activities to promote the mission of the Council.

Collaborative Partners: Palomar Health Staff, Escondido Union School District and Mission Middle School.

Outcomes: Project in progress; data not complete.

Smart Phone Project to Support Physical Activity, a component of the P21SD TODAY Program

Special cell phones and wireless service that allow wireless access (smart phones) were donated by Qualcomm and Verizon Wireless to encourage students to run at school. The purposes of the cell phones in the P21 SD TODAY Program are: 1) to track miles run by students via GPS; 2) calculate and track calories used during school running; 3) export data to a website that can only be accessed by the teacher supervising the running; and 4) provide a motivational tool to encourage students to be more physically active.

Collaborative Partners: Palomar Health Staff, Qualcomm, Verizon Wireless, and Bones in Motion/Addidas, Escondido Union School District and Lincoln Elementary School, Felicita Elementary School.

Outcomes: Project in progress; data not complete.

Obesity and Diabetes Prevention - Wellness Circus

Nutrition and physical education, health screenings, and education on the School’s Wellness Policy at local high schools.

CAC Partners: San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, Escondido Union High School District, Neighborhood Healthcare, Migrant Education

Outcomes: More than 1000 students participate annually. Evaluation shows an increase in nutrition and physical activity knowledge.

Substance Abuse Prevention - Reducing Underage Drinking

Project includes 1) mapping of alcohol outlets, location of schools, and crime to increase awareness of alcohol access; 2) advocacy for changes in stores to decrease alcohol visibility; and 3) advocacy for policy change to reduce access of alcohol for underage drinkers.

CAC Partners: North Inland Community Prevention Program; CAFÉ; Escondido Education Compact

Outcomes: Project in process; data collection not complete

Mental Health - Violence Prevention Program

It includes 1) school staff training; 2) education for students and parents about the impact of violence on the community, their academic performance and their future lives; 3) referrals to community clinics, department of public health, and other community agencies; 4) guest speakers from local organizations to prevent students from becoming involved in all levels of violence; and 5) intervention in situations once violence has occurred.

CAC Partners: Orange Glen High School; Orange Glen High School PTSO

Outcomes: Project implementation 2010-2011; data collection not complete

Mental Health - Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program

Increases the help-seeking behavior of young people by reinforcing and strengthening the bonds between them and the trusted adults in their lives. By forming a support network of parents, school, and the community-at-large, everyone can learn to recognize the symptoms, warning signs and risk factors for suicide and depression in youth.

Palomar Health CAC Collaborative Partners: Project in planning stage

Outcomes: Project in planning stage; data collection not complete

Do you have questions about the Palomar Health Community Action Councils in North San Diego County?  Visit Community Action Councils for more information about each council's projects or Contact Us.