January, 2014                                                                      The CATCH Programs
Welcome from CATCH USA!
Our New Year's Resolution


Peter Cribb, MEd  National CATCH Director

While 2013 marked the 25th anniversary of CATCH, we are not going to rest on our laurels and expect our children's health to improve because we know better. We also know that just a physical activity or nutrition program is not enough to prevent childhood obesity.

It takes a coordinated effort from everyone and it's for that reason we will continue to make all of the CATCH Programs the best they can be. Because it takes a village to raise a child, we are making and reaffirming the following resolutions for 2014.  

Continue on message: The CATCH Way is more than just a program. The entire philosophy of CATCH revolves around a coordinated and concerted effort to change a child's surroundings into a healthy environment. We will continue to take this message all across the country. 

Remain dedicated to what works: The CATCH Team remains dedicated to research, design and implementation. The CATCH Team will continue to introduce programs such as CATCH Early Childhood and tools like the Coordination Kits for K-5 and Middle Schools. We are committed to updating and improving all CATCH materials like the new nutrition guides for CATCH Kids Club and our new CEC Coordination Kit. We will use our current research to update and improve all of the materials associated with CATCH.

Evolve CATCH Training: The CATCH Training Team is always looking for new ways to implement and train communities on how to create those healthy environments. Over the last few years our training has evolved to be more than just a program lecture with some activities. CATCH Training now incorporates the coordination kit philosophies and is a great tool for professional development. There will be some great announcements coming soon on CATCH Training and we can't wait to tell you.

Celebrate and promote our CATCH Communities: Over the last few months we have dedicated much of our newsletter to our CATCH Communities. Through them, we are able to share and acknowledge their efforts to create healthy environments in their schools, after-schools, preschools, homes and communities. It is because of our communities that the CATCH philosophy has thrived. We will continue to showcase our communities and share with others their accomplishments. 

CATCHing Funding Dollars
We thought with the new year we would kick off our webinar series with an always timely topic, "CATCHing Funding Dollars". Locating funding is usually the first step in any new endeavor and I am pleased to have our good friend and CATCH Team member Kathy Chichester as our special guest this month. Kathy will be providing the tips you need to include CATCH in your winning proposal.

Kathy Chichester, National CATCH Coordinator

Kathy Chichester's role as the National CATCH Coordinator is to help connect large scale funding and implementation partners. While there are many great "grant search" and "grant writing" resources out there, there are common denominators in what we have seen that make for successful CATCH applications. In this month's webinar, Kathy will share practical tips that might help you in your funding search. We look forward to having Kathy on our program, it's a long time coming.

Pre-Register Here 



Did you miss our last webinar? 
John Krampitz, PhD, discusses using CATCH physical activity to positively address Neurologically Based Behavioral Problems.


CATCH Coordination Kit Reminder

As we head into the second half of your school year we wanted to send a reminder for your fourth six weeks!


As you prepare for Theme IV -Family Matters, please remember the following:

  • Use the CATCH Team Coordination Guide to see the big picture of campus-wide implementation. Utilize the Big Picture document (found on pg. 17) and Theme IV checklist (found on pages 18 - 19) as the agenda for your Team meeting;
  • Invite your stakeholders (cafeteria manager, principal/asst. principal(s), parent leader, physical education, specialized and support staff, etc.) to your team meeting;
  • Email the faculty and staff their star tasks and resources; and
Please remind the individuals on your team to review their star tasks (found on pg. 17 of the CATCH Team Coordination Guide and pg. 8 in their Component Folder) for Theme IV and distribute to the other staff in their discipline 


Our CATCH Communities
Bonnie Martin helps teach and 
heads up the parent volunteers

We are very proud of our CATCH Communities and recently the CATCH Team followed up with River Place Elementary (see article below) who has gone the extra mile for their kids. One of the most impressive things about River Place is the parent involvement. Currently they have over 70 parent volunteers who rotate throughout the elementary classes providing nutrition lessons. We also visited the Titan Garden they started and were more than impressed with all they have done. Be sure to read about this incredibly involved school that has embraced the coordinated school message. 

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments or just to let us know what's new at your school or after-school organization. We love to hear your stories. And be sure to visit CATCH USA.


Peter Cribb, National CATCH Director 
Around the country
River Place Elementary does it right!
By Sara Milam
Sara Milam shows off some 
of the local school art they encourage students to create

This is just a quick hello from River Place to let you know that Healthy Eating and CATCH are alive and well! We have been having a wonderful year. And the fun is only beginning. We have activities that involve the whole school. Art classes are drawing veggies to help us decorate our bulletin board. The library is pulling books that will support our health efforts in January and throughout the year.   

A parent volunteer teaching a nutrition class

PE also has activities to reiterate our efforts through out the school. And don't forget the outdoor classroom- Bonnie is using solar power to cook food..... of course cookies! And the list could goes on and on! The River Place staff has welcomed us with open arms and made us part of their team. We all want to encourage kids and give them the best opportunity to make healthy choices for the rest of their lives.


I have highlighted below the events that have taken place so far and those yet to come. We would love for you to join us in one or all future events. 



  • Zucchini tasting for all grade levels in the cafeteria. Then the students bar charted if they liked zucchini and if they would eat it again.
  • We also started our Healthy cafe. Students are rewarded with a healthy snacker sticker if they are caught eating, not just have a healthy lunch, but eating it                 too. Their name is then put in for a drawing for the end of the month. If their name is chosen, they get to sit at the cafe with 5 friends! This program is on going through the school year.
  • We also have a bulletin board designated to our health activities in the cafeteria, that is updated each month.


  • Field Day- "Have a Ball" was the theme. This year we worked with Anne Kiggins in the cafeteria to provide healthy snacks and water for all students. (In years past, the school has always received donated ice cream as the snack.) So, we set up a hydration station with three different types of flavored water and snacks from the cafeteria. Two wonderful outcomes: the kids were hydrating by tasting different waters and now the students are more aware of healthy snack options in the food line of their cafeteria! We served sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried banana chips, dried apricots and fresh orange slices. Parents and staff alike gave raving reviews.
  • Healthy Cafe


  • Kale salad tasting- with cranberries and a cider dressing- on Thursday, December 12th. My guess is 90% of the students liked the salad. the fourth graders almost had a riot- they wanted more and we couldn't serve it fast enough. We hope to see it back on the RPE cafeteria menu.
  • Healthy Cafe


  • We are so excited to announce we are in the classrooms! Parent volunteers will be teaching all grade levels for four separate classes 30 minutes each, once a week for the whole month of January. This is no small task. We have asked for 2 parents in each classroom. That is over 74 parents teaching each week!
  • We are having a family night on Thursday, January 23rd. We are working on having a farmers market, physical activities in PE room, vendors in the cafeteria showing us how to make healthy snacks, lunches, etc. Here is an idea of what you will find in the MPR- can you make more baskets that a Vandegrift basketball player? Can your mom or dad hold a plank while you crawl through over and over for 30 seconds? What will you find in the cafeteria? A farmer's market with veggies to sample and purchase. Vendors showing everyone how to make a healthy lunch, how to make granola bars, samples of a healthy dinner. Building a Healthy Heart is the theme for the first annual Family Night Out (FNO) of food and fun.


  • Tasting- roasted cauliflower and raw.
  • Healthy Cafe
Thanks to a generous grant from Home Depot, the Titan Garden boasts an outdoor classroom to go with their growing farm!

And more to come. 


So, if you would like to teach a class, come just observe, help serve samples or hear more about what we have happening, we would love to see you at River Place. I can always send you more details (days we are teaching and times, each grade level is different). We would also love guests to join our cafe- pack your lunch and join us any time! Just let us know you are coming. 


Happy New Year,

and here is to healthy eating in 2014......one bite at a time,


Sara Milam

Join Our Mailing List!
New CDC Report on Kids Physical Activity
Only 25% of U.S. youth are meeting federal physical activity guidelines   


The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that youth participate in daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes. This report presents the most recent national data from 2012 on self-reported physical activity among youth aged 12-15 years, by sex and weight status. Said CATCH Director Peter Cribb, "schools that properly incorporate CATCH activity strategies into PE classes, during recess and after-school can significantly increase student MVPA levels. In addition, by incorporating quick classroom physical activity like CATCH Breaks and Take 10, the 60 minute daily goal becomes very doable".



Letter from Parents
Healthy U in New Jersey

We recently received a letter that was forwarded to us by our good friend Sue Cornell of Healthy U in New Jersey. A parent took the time out to thank all of those involved who work with her daughter through Healthy U and the CATCH Program. We appreciate them letting us share this with you. 


Hi Mr. D and Mrs Doughtery,

Emily and her Brownie Troop met with a Nutritionist and went on a tour of the Shop Rite in Bayville last week. They discussed healthy eating

and even made a few healthy snacks that they were able to enjoy. Throughout the tour (and snack making) the Nutritionist asks the girls different questions about healthy eating, the food groups and the nutrition in different foods. We were very proud that Emily was the only one that knew the answers to most of the questions that were asked. Everyone was quite impressed!  We had to give credit where credit was due!  It is because of her fantastic teachers that she has

developed such an awareness of what she eats.  Not only does she "know the answers", but she really is applying what she has learned. Emily constantly checks the fiber and sugar content on the nutrition labels and is more conscious of the nutrition value in the foods she eats. She reminds "us" to make better choices, too. She will tell us if something is a "slow" food or a "go" food before we eat it and remind us not to choose too many slow foods.  Emily has always been my pickiest eater and has

always been afraid to try new foods. In the last five months she has tried more "healthy" foods than she has in her eight years of existence! Although she doesn't "like" everything she tries, she has found some vegetables, meat and dishes she does like...and has even surprised herself! Since Emily is the only one in this troop from this school I feel this was a huge reflection on her teachers and her school. I just wanted to say thank you!  Not only for that, but for getting Emily excited about her health.

As always, we appreciate everything you do!  

Lori and Dan Cushing

Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Cushing, it makes our day to get these! 


Note: Sue wanted to make sure we credit Veanna Knoeller who is the Youth Development Director for the Ocean County YMCA and their
staff because they are the real leaders in implementing Healthy U. Sue also wants to acknowledge PE Specialist Jason Duimstra who has been a great champion for the program at his school. Good job, good job!

Read more about Healthy U! 


Muscatine, Iowa
Muscatine Community YMCA

Healthy habits are happening in Muscatine, Iowa thanks to their community Y and school district. The community is working with the CATCH program and are signing families up to participate. Families are meeting for 12 weeks with at least three days of activities involved each week. What a great way to get the community involved and CATCH supports all of their efforts.

Read more about what is happening in Muscatine!

CATCH January Webinar
CATCHing Funding Dollars!

Don't miss this month's special webinar with National CATCH Coordinator Kathy Chichester who will be giving some great tips on locating funding and writing winning proposals to fund your programs. 



CATCH Family Fun Nights


CATCH Family Fun Nights!


Kids enjoy a little GO-SLOW-WHOA bozo buckets at Little John Elementary

One of the great components of the CATCH Program gets families involved in their child's activities and nutrition lessons. A wonderful way to get the parents and siblings involved is through hosting a family fun night. They can be big or small, informative and just plain fun. We dedicate this section to two schools who recently held their fun nights and the reports and pictures they sent along. 

The first one is from Little John Elementary in DeKalb, Illinois and the second one if from C.D. Fulkes Middle School in Round Rock, Texas. 

From Lisa Cumings: 

Attached are pictures from our Little John Elementary School Family CATCH Night.  Little John is one of the 8 elementary schools that has catch lessons during the day throughout the school year.  We had 3 CATCH Stations:  My Plate, GSW bozo buckets and a pedometer step up challenge to increase moderate physical activity.  It is a goal of all the DeKalb Schools to have more parental involvement with CATCH and jumping on board with events that parents are coming to in the evening is the way to reach them.  We just "CATCHify" them:)


From Kelly Klaas:
Late last year C.D. Fulkes Middle School, a member of Round Rock ISD, hosted a fun and informative CATCH Family Night that included physical activities, sampling of healthy GO foods, information from local vendors and prizes.


Over 500 students and family members attended the CATCH event with over 100 staff members and local vendors.  Promotion of the event was made through various mediums ranging from daily school announcements to phone calls home. Daily announcements were made over the PA system for two weeks prior to the event, scrolling video announcements were made every day for a month prior to the event, students were shown a PowerPoint presentation during advisory week the week before, the event was promoted in all PE and Dance classes and by all classroom teachers, the Principal sent out an announcement twice to every parent on the district's all-school call system, the event was promoted on the school's outside marquee, and two different flyers were sent home attached to report cards and then on progress reports.


Local community vendors were crucial in making the CATCH Family Night a success. There were 20 vendors that provided resources and information on health services, healthy food and physical activity. They included the local YMCA, dentists and eye doctors, Cedar Ridge Health Academy, Cedar Ridge Culinary Academy, an HEB Chef, Next Care Urgent Care, massage therapists and insurance companies.

There was collaboration with the Round Rock ISD Cafeteria, Cedar Ridge Culinary Academy, ASPIRE after-school program and HEB to offer sampling's of healthy GO Foods. Round Rock ISD sampled a healthy lunch option (vegetable lasagna and fruit), Cedar Ridge Culinary Academy cooked healthy fruit pizza, strawberries with a healthy dip and a spinach dish, ASPIRE After-school Program provided a healthy trail mix, and the HEB chef cooked brown rice with broccoli and vegetable pasta. There was also a free snack bag giveaway that included an apple, bottled water and a granola bar.


Numerous outside activities were held for students and their family members to participate in. ACTIVE Life hosted an obstacle course and an obstacle course jump house, Texas Park and Wildlife hosted backyard bass fishing and there were many other games such as Booger Wars (sponge dodge ball game) and Hamster Ball (from Games 2U).


Prizes were raffled off to attendees. The prizes ranged from a mountain bike and helmet, family of 4 bowling passes, Austin Park and Pizza passes, HEB gift cards, Academy gift cards, footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs and ladder ball.


C.D Fulkes Middle School staff together with Round Rock ISD and community supporters proved that with collaboration and creativity, it is possible to promote healthy change in the lives of children and their families. 

We love and support our CATCH Communities so we want to hear from you and promote all of your efforts!

Send them along to "info@CATCHUSA.org" and we will share with others!

Have a great CATCH Spring! 

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