Lifestyle Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), a parent-focused research program, will be coming to the Jim Thorpe Area School District. The program works through the Penn State Prevention Research Center.

Mindy Graver, Penn State Extension Educator, presented information about this program to the Jim Thorpe schoolboard.

The program teaches positive parenting techniques on creating healthy lifestyles and healthy eating habits as well as physical activity.

This program was developed in Australia and it was created by a Dr. Matt Sanders.

Graver stated that the program was Americanized by looking at local cuisine and different portion servings.

The Penn State Prevention Research Center was funded to conduct this initial program.

The JT Area School District is one of two districts selected to participate in the research program. JT was chosen because of existing programs with Penn State, such as Project Prosper.

The program will be looking to recruit 48 families of children in grades 1-4 from both the L.B. Morris and Penn Kidder schools.

The program is free for parents.

The parents will attend nine, 90 minute sessions. There will also be three, 20 minute follow up phone calls.

Child care for children will be provided.

The parents will be given a workbook, healthy cook book, and family activity guide.

The program is planned to begin January 2013 and it will be held after school at the school buildings.

Two teachers from JTASD will be facilitating the program and they were trained and accredited in the program. The facilitators are: L.B. Morris Elementary teacher, Jamie Kunkel and Penn Kidder Campus teacher, Shawn Kopp. Graver is also trained and accredited.

For the program, BMI's will be taken before and after the program. Parents will also be able to fill out inventories. Along with the group sessions there will be individual phone sessions with individual focus.

Kunkel stated that with the individual focus they will be taking those inventories and seeing what has been learned and putting a plan in place specifically for that family.

Graver added that the families will also be given activities to do at home during the week.

David McAndrew, L. B. Morris Assistant Principal, stated that while the program is about promoting healthy eating it is also about implementing physical activity.

Kopp added that the program is for parents to develop skills to implement at home.