PXL Kicks Off Family Well-Being Experimentation Phase!

"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?" - C.S. Lewis

This weekend's college graduations marked the official start of summer for Providence students, but for Team Family Well-Being, it feels more like the first day of school. The team just facilitated the kick-off for the first phase of real-world experimentation - the long-awaited and exciting moment when the prototypes we've been talking about become real.

From the image below, it's pretty easy to infer some of the necessary preparations for testing the Edu-Shoppe model:

  • finding a van to transport food supplies and house nutrition education in communities
  • identifying individuals and organizations with expertise in, and passion for, healthy cooking and eating
  • partnering with grocery stores and community centers willing to host and support the experience 
  • working with local authorities to ensure all activities are in adherence with protocol, and state and local regulations

The PXL team, Children's Health, and Dallas families and community stakeholders have worked tirelessly together to make all of that happen. But in addition to addressing the nuts and bolts, we've been posing the questions that are integral to real-world experimentation: What are we trying to learn, and how are we going to know how this working? 


Edu-Shoppe is the first learning tool to enter the experimentation phase; it was co-designed to begin to help us understand the conditions necessary to move families toward a stronger state of well-being. So really, the first-day-of-school metaphor runs deeper than the excitement of a new beginning: just as a teacher conducts an initial assessment of students' skills, capabilities, and needs in order to measure their progress, the PXL team has been spending time pre-assessing participating families' well-being, relative to the family well-being metric developed in previous work. If we want to know whether and how Edu-Shoppe might enable and encourage family well-being, we have to start with a baseline: in terms of their well-being, where are families right now

chst-exp-032.jpgOur team spent part of the kick-off week collecting information and narratives from families - about everything from family dynamics and behaviors to their experiences in their neighborhoods and communities - and then mapping them to the assessment metric. The assessments serve as tools now, to understand the contextual factors shaping families' sense of agency, personal power, and other elements that contribute to their well-being as Edu-Shoppe kicks off. But they will also serve as tools when the Edu-Shoppe and Your Best You (the second model to be tested) experimentation phases have ended, and we need a measure of whether families' behaviors and outlooks have grown and changed. 

The baselines are in - let the testing begin!

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