The mission of the NativeVision program is to empower Native American youth to realize their full (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) potential through the promotion of physical fitness, healthy nutrition, and positive life skills. NativeVision began in 1996 as a summer sports and life skills camp for Native American youth, bringing together Native youth with collegiate and professional athletes who volunteer as mentors and coaches. More recently, NativeVision and has evolved into a comprehensive year-round program including: a structured in-school or after school curriculum along with parent engagement; regional sports and life skills camps; and community events and outreach to promote fitness and nutrition. Local Health Coaches implement the year-round curriculum and community outreach, and they partner with volunteer local and national coaches to lead the camps. The curriculum and program materials have been developed by Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health in partnership with Tribal communities in the Southwest. NativeVision curriculum materials, training, and technical assistance are available to other tribal communities and programs through the Center for Indigenous Health.
NativeVision Program Components include:
- Youth sessions: Culturally-based nutrition, fitness and healthy life skills education for Native youth through an activity-based, experiential curriculum taught by local Health Coaches throughout the school year.
- Parent and family engagement: Structured parent lessons designed to share content and activities that youth received regarding nutrition, physical activity and life skills, so that NativeVision teachings and impact are extended to the home.
- Sports and life skills camps: Camps are held during school break periods when youth can benefit most from positive enrichment and wellness activities.
- Community events and outreach: NativeVision Health Coaches maintain a consistent presence at community-based events and partner with other programs to hold events that promote culturally-based healthy nutrition, fitness and positive lifestyles.
- Program monitoring and evaluation: NativeVision activities are monitored through process tracking logs and regular feedback gathered from youth, parents, school staff, and community partners. Youth surveys track the impact of the program on participating youth knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.