The CATCH Program established that healthy habits in childhood can promote behavior changes that can last a lifetime.
CATCH stands for a Coordinated Approach To Child Health. CATCH is a coordinated school health program that promotes physical activity, healthy foods and tobacco prevention. CATCH reaches kids from preschool through 8th grade and has been implemented in thousands of schools across America and Canada. In 2003, St. Patrick Hospital saw a need in Western Montana for a childhood obesity prevention program, and they adopted CATCH because it is evidence-based and supported by a national program.
CATCH school, after school and early childhood programs can be found in all 50 states, Canada and US Department of Defense Schools around the world. Most school districts adopt and support the program on their own; St. Patrick Hospital’s structure however, is unique. St. Patrick Hospital sponsors CATCH in over a dozen Western Montana school districts and community sites through the funding of curriculum materials and one staff member, who gives on-going technical support and training. Today, Missoula CATCH is considered a community wide CATCH program that can be found in all Missoula County Public Schools and community events. Locals are talking the CATCH talk!
CATCH is effective because healthy behaviors are reinforced through a coordinated approach – in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in physical education, at home, and after school. And, most importantly, CATCH makes it fun to learn about healthy behaviors!
Five Components of CATCH:
1. CATCH – Physical Activity
2. Go for Health – Classroom Curriculum
3. Eat Smart – School Nutrition
4. Home Team – Family Activities
5. Community – Implemented Programs
In Physical Education
Combines high energy, non-elimination activities with teaching strategies that keep kids moving and having fun. CATCH PE significantly increases physical activity levels of students during PE class, and provides for a variety of learning experiences for students of all abilities
In the Classroom
Teaches children to identify, practice, and adopt healthy eating and physical activity habits. Hands-on activities encourage changes in behavior that support healthful eating and physical activity patterns to reduce the risks of heart disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and obesity.
In the Cafeteria
The CATCH Program considers school cafeterias an extension of the classroom. Through the Eat Smart component, breakfast and lunch become opportunities for children to learn, practice, and adopt healthy eating habits. School food service personnel prepare healthier meals and help coordinate healthy messages with the rest of the school.
The CATCH Family component is designed to get students, parents, and extended family members involved in practicing and adopting healthy eating and physical activity behaviors at home. By doing so, the home environment becomes an extension of the CATCH Program at school.
In the Community
CATCH Kids Club (CKC) is a physical activity and nutrition education program designed for after-school and summer settings. CKC is user-friendly that both children and staff enjoy!
Lisa Tims – CATCH Coordinator
St. Patrick Hospital
500 W. Broadway, Missoula, MT 59802