African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network
Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
8th Floor Blockley Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104

AACORN | African American Collaborative Obesity Network

Community Tools

Following is a list of tools to assist you with addressing health and wellness issues in your community. This list is not comprehensive, but it includes useful tools to help you identify resources as well as promote healthy weight in your community.

Active Living Resource Guide: An Annotated Resource Book for Built Environment and Physical Activity

The annotated resource book for Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities includes a variety of resources for communities working on physical activity and the build environment. The guide is organized by different topic areas, some of which include: Youth Engagement, Safety and Crime, and Land Use and Transportation. It also includes action tools and a list of organizations working to build the connection between physical activity and the built environment. Click here for more information.

Environmental Nutrition and Activity Community Tool (ENACT)

ENACT is a concrete menu of strategies designed to help you improve nutrition and activity environments on a local level. These strategies have been organized into seven environments that were carefully selected for their importance in individual and community health. Each ENACT strategy presents useful information based on current research and practice and includes model policies and programs, hands-on tools, articles and other publications, and resources. The strategies are structured to be interactive so that implementation can become a reality. ENACT was designed to complement current education and community efforts and to empower local action to address priority issues. Working locally can make healthy eating and regular activity a realistic option for everyone, and can bubble up to affect state and national policy. Click here for more information.

Healthy Community Design Legislation Database

The Healthy Community Design Legislation Database includes abstracts of bills to gather information that enhance accessibility to healthy food, and opportunity for routine daily physical activity. The database can be used to search various topics including: agriculture, bike/pedestrian, coalition/council, direct marketing, farm-to-school, farmers' market, land use/smart growth, nutrition, obesity, obesity-childhood, physical activity, supermarket and transportation, etcetera. Individuals can seek out information aimed at specific states, topics, bill type, text search, and bill type and status. Click here for more information.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities: Healthy Eating Resource Guide

This annotated resource guide provides a listing of relevant programs, organizations, tools and presentations intended to support healthy eating via community design. Click here for more information.

Leadership for Healthy Communities: Action Strategies Toolkit

Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was created to support local and state leaders nationwide in their efforts to promote healthy, active communities and access to affordable healthy foods. The strategies in this toolkit include promising and evidence-based practices that advance these goals and build upon the work in which policy-makers are already engaged. Through collaboration among states, counties, cities and schools, policy-makers can meet their constituents' demand for healthy living as they take steps to reduce health care costs and improve health care performance in their communities. The strategies presented in this toolkit have tremendous potential to change the trajectory of our children's future. Click for more information.

Let's Move! Toolkit for Faith-based and Neighborhood Organizations

First Lady Michelle Obama, community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses, moms and dads have united in a nationwide campaign to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity. Let's Move! has an ambitious but important goal: to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation. Let's Move will give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help our kids to be more physically active, and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of our country. This toolkit (which is designed to help faith-based and neighborhood organizations transform neighborhoods, engage communities, and promote healthy choices) provides concrete action steps that an organization can take for each of the four pillars of Let's Move! (Healthy Choices, Healthy Schools, Physical Activity, Affordable and Accessible Food.) Click for more information.

Making Public Programs Work for Communities of Color: An Action Kit for Community Leaders

The purpose of this Action Kit is to provide community leaders with the information, tools, and resources necessary to engage in health advocacy and improve the health and well-being of their communities. Click here for more information.

Making Schools the Model for Healthier Environments Toolkit

This toolkit provides information to help make schools the model for healthier environments, and will provide tools and resources to help ensure that school environments become the standard for healthy eating and active living. The information provided will offer promising solutions to problems that schools face in providing healthy food and opportunities for physical activity. Click here for more information.

Partnership Trust Tool

The CDC's Prevention Research Center (PRC) has The Partnership Trust Tool now available. The tool is designed to engage PRC's academic, community, and public health practice partners in a dialogue about issues that foster and hinder trust. It allows partners to explore strengths, identify opportunities for improvement, and develop strategies for enhancing trust. The PTT has two parts which include: Surveying and Facilitated Discussion. Click here for more information.

Physical Activity Assessment Tools Website

The Physical Activity Assessment Tools website; developed in collaboration with the Wake Forest University Health Sciences, the Penn-Cheyney Center of Excellence for Inner City Health, and the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network; is an online repository of physical activity assessment tools. The Physical Activity Assessment Tools website provides the opportunity to find and post assessment tools for physical activity and reliability and validation studies for the various assessments. Click here to access the site.

Physical Activity Resource Center for Public Health (PARC-PH)

The PARC–PH was developed in order to satisfy the need for a comprehensive center that can provide guidance and up–to–date physical activity assessment and intervention information to interested researchers and community members. Its mission is to support physical activity assessment and lifestyle promotion efforts conducted through research or community intervention. The website includes tool for both subjective and objective measures of physical activity, as well as a search feature which enables users to locate published articles which have used the physical activity measures. Click here to access the site.

PRIMER - A Toolkit for Health Research in Partnership with Practices and Communities

Group Health Research Institute and its partners - the University of Washington, Institute of Translational Health Sciences, Duke Translational Medicine Institute, and Wayne State University - have developed a new website to help researchers create and sustain successful multisite research collaborations, including those involving community-academic partnerships. The project team created the site,, to enhance the efficiency of research from start to finish, including developing research networks, launching and managing projects, and sharing study results or other products such as data sets, tools, and training resources. The website was developed as part of a project known as PRIMER, or Partnership-driven Resources to Improve and Enhance Research. PRIMER was awarded to the Institute for Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) at the University of Washington by the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health. Click here for more information.

Reshaping our Communities, Reclaiming Our Health

African Americans Define Strategies for Healthy Kids and Healthy Neighborhoods. On June 5 - 6, 2008, 47 researchers, policy-makers and leaders from community-based organizations, professional associations and businesses gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss the childhood obesity epidemic and strategies for reversing the trend in the African-American community. The resulting report is Reshaping our Communities, Reclaiming Our Health: African Americans Define Strategies for Healthy Kids and Healthy Neighborhoods. This report provides first steps toward solving the childhood obesity crisis among African-American communities. Click for more information.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity Transportation and Health Toolkit

"Keeping Kids Moving: How Equitable Transportation Policy Can Prevent Childhood Obesity Toolkit" provides information to help communities across the United States advocate for and offer safe, effective, and affordable transportation systems for all children. Click the following links to find out more about , , and to see a list of its resources.

THRIVE: Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments

THRIVE is a tool to help people understand and prioritize the factors within their own communities that can help improve health and safety. The tool identifies key factors and allows a user to rate how important that factor might be in the community. In also provides information about how each factor is related to health outcomes and some direction about what to do to address the factor and where to go for more information. Click here for more information.

The Community Healthy Weight Network Action Guide

The Community Healthy Weight Network Action Guide is the result of a three-year collaboration between the Duke University Medical School (DUMC) and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. The objective of the Guide is to provide community-based groups with the tools needed to promote healthy weight. The Guide provides tips on how to build a community network that can promote better nutrition, increased physical activity, and healthy weight. Click for more information.

The Community Tool Box

The Community Tool Box is the world's largest resource for free information on essential skills for building healthy communities. It offers over 7,000 pages of practical guidance in creating change and improvement. Click here for more information.

The National Association of Counties (NACo)

NACo has developed a Healthy Counties Database in relation to the childhood obesity epidemic. The premise of this database braches from a nationwide effort to prevent childhood obesity. Included in the database are numerous resources for modeled policies, programs, and initiatives.

The site provides extensive information ranging from individual profiles, the systems used to create healthier environments, demographical information pertaining to the county and contact information.The database covers a broad range of information and covers topics directed towards health and many other areas. The information is useful and supports everyone's effort to eliminate childhood obesity. With the ever growing number of children suffering from obesity the Healthy Counties Database gives access to alternative options to begin a new path towards a better lifestyle. Click here for more information on The Healthy Counties Database.

We Can!

We Can! stands for Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition. We Can! is a national education program designed for parents and caregivers to help children 8-13 years old stay at a healthy weight.

Parents and caregivers are the primary influencers for this age group. We Can! offers parents and families tips and fun activities to encourage healthy eating, increase physical activity and reduce sedentary or screen time. It also offers community groups and health professionals resources to implement programs and fun activities for parents and youth in communities around the country.

Four of the National Institutes of Health have come together to bring you We Can! The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in collaboration with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Cancer Institute have combined their unique resources and activities as part of We Can! Click here for more information.

White House Faith-based and Community Initiatives

Faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) have a long tradition of helping Americans in need and together represent an integral part of our nation's social service network. Yet, all too often, the Federal government has put in place complicated rules and regulations preventing FBCOs from competing for funds on an equal footing with other organizations. In an effort to addrss this issue, the Federal government has worked through an array of regulatory and policy reforms, legislative efforts, and public outreach to FBCOs to make information about Federal grants more accessible and the application process less burdensome. This initiative has empowered FBCOs to compete more effectively for funds. Click here for more information on grant opportunities and technical assistance resources.

© 2007 African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network. All Rights Reserved.