Ishonte Allar

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Physical Education Teacher Education

Committee Chair

Sean M Bulger

Committee Co-Chair

Eloise Elliott

Committee Member

Emily Jones

Committee Member

Alfgeir Kristjansson

Committee Member

Andrea Taliaferro


Background: Presently, there are a lack of preschool physical activity and nutrition programs documented in the literature. I am moving, I am Learning (IMIL) is a preschool physical activity and nutrition program used by many Head Start programs across the nation. The purpose of this study was to determine the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance (RE-AIM) of IMIL in the state of Illinois.;Methods: Employing a QUAL+ quan simultaneous mixed-methods design, data were collected via a statewide agency administrator survey, classroom teacher survey, parent surveys, and program staff focus groups that occurred within a single program in Rock Island, Illinois.;Results: IMIL has reached 60.8% of Head Start classrooms (n=941) in the state of Illinois. Teachers reported the effectiveness of IMIL in a number of areas including knowledge, behavior, and student learning. Sixty-two point two percent of Head Start agencies have classrooms that adopted IMIL exposing at least 7,867 families. Classrooms have implemented IMIL strategies in a variety of ways using its resources for classroom instruction, menu planning, lessons plans, parent engagement, music, assessment, print materials, and community collaboration to engage families and communities in Epstein's six types of involvement (parenting, communicating, decision making, volunteering, community collaboration, and learning at home). Of the administrative survey respondents, 52% had used IMIL for 1-5 years, while another 26% had used it for 6-10 years. Administrators identified the following reasons for the sustainability of IMIL: aligns in with goals and policies, enjoyment, resources, informational, positive results, training, easy implementation, and flexibility.;Conclusion: Use of IMIL can meet the initiatives and goals of the Head Start National Center on Health and National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement and has potential to meet the benchmark domains of the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning's Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). Teachers, children, and families appreciate IMIL and the impacts it has made on their lives.