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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Project 18?

Why is it important to address childhood obesity?

What was the role of Ball State students and how did they benefit?

What is the Building Better Communities Fellows program?

What is immersive learning?


What is Project 18?

Project 18, a statewide initiative that focuses on school health education and community outreach, is a collaborative effort with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent, Marsh Supermarkets, Ball State University, and Strategic Marketing & Research Inc. (SMARI).

The project, named after Manning's football jersey number, provides Indiana elementary schools with an 18-week health and wellness curriculum designed to address the major risk behaviors in third- to fifth-grade students. It focuses on nutrition, physical activity, and holistic health. In addition, it includes public service announcements and a Down-the-Aisle program at Marsh helping kids and parents make the right food choices.

For more information, visit the Project 18 Web site, which includes content for kids, teachers, and parents.

Why is it important to address childhood obesity?

In 2008, Indiana ranked 11th in the country for obesity. Approximately one-third of Hoosier children are overweight, which may lead to physical ailments such as high blood pressure and diabetes as well as low self-esteem and depression.

What was the role of Ball State students and how did they benefit?

The Building Better Communities Fellows and Health Fellows team worked to:

  • develop a marketing plan for the overall campaign to fight childhood obesity
  • create a public relations plan for community outreach events planned for this summer
  • design materials for the summer events
  • put together a comprehensive 18-week school program to start in August 2009
  • produce a campaign for Marsh Supermarkets that highlights nutritional food choices children and families can make as they shop the aisles of the supermarket
  • prepare a marketing plan to integrate the Marsh Pharmacy into the project

Just as they will after graduation, the students worked with teammates from diverse majors: marketing, advertising, public relations, dietetics, nursing, physiology, wellness, and health education. Plus, two members of the Project 18 team landed internships with St. Vincent, one of the project partners.

Project 18 is an example of Ball State's immersive learning, in which students go beyond learning to realize the intention.

What is the Building Better Communities Fellows program?

Building Better Communities Fellows, which receives funding from the Lilly Endowment Inc., focuses on turning academic knowledge into business solutions by:

  • sending a faculty mentored-student team to a business or organization to work on a problem-based project to improve services, quality, or competitiveness
  • increase business
  • develop new job opportunities

Fellows find real-world solutions to real-world problems. In addition to receiving academic credit, they make connections that may be helpful after graduation.

Learn more about the Fellows program.

What is immersive learning?

Project 18 is one example of the many immersive learning opportunities at Ball State.

Immersive learning, the hallmark of a Ball State education, provides intense educational experiences in which students must find real-world solutions to real-world problems.

Led by a faculty mentor, students work across disciplines with business and community partners and produce a tangible result that lives beyond the experience. Learn more about immersive learning at Ball State.