The PRCHN coordinates the evaluation of the program by examining the program's impact on students' health, activity, and school performance by collecting data on these factors before and after the program. Volunteers assisting in the evaluation include CMSD school nurses, nursing and nutrition students from Case Western Reserve University, and Cleveland State University Students. For more information about the We Run This City program at the Cleveland YMCA, click here.
Each year of the Marathon Program, participating CMSD students are asked to take part in pre- and post- program assessments. The assessments consist of surveys measuring self-reported items such as school achievement, motivation for physical activity, self-confidence and self-efficacy, peer and family relationships, environmental support for healthy behavior, sleeping habits, and depression. The survey is administered by way of an audio-enhanced personal digital assistant (APDA). In addition to the survey, students are asked to undergo physical assessments where measures of blood pressure, height, weight, hip circumference, waist circumference, and endurance are obtained.
From these surveys and measurements, PRCHN researchers are able to determine direction and amount of change in each of those dimensions. Highlights often include decreased blood pressure, increased endurance, and numerous reports of improved self-image and relationships with others. Students in 2010 were found to show significant improvements in performance on the Sit to Stand test (a test of lower body strength and balance) and the PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Run). There has been a significant reduction in blood pressure in students found to be pre-hypertensive and hypertensive.