CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health)

Organization Sponsor: University of Texas


Program Description

CATCH is an evidence based program designed to increase physical activity, nutrition intake and tobacco avoidance among children and youth. The program works with parents, teachers, child nutrition personnel, school staff, and community partners. The primary purpose of CATCH is to create healthy children and healthy environments.
CATCH employs a holistic approach to child health promotion by targeting multiple aspects of the school and community environment and involving classroom teachers, PE teachers, students, families and the broader school community in a range of health promoting activities for all children in grades K-8.

Other partners include State of Texas, University of Texas, Brock University, Tulane University

Funding Sources: 

CIAF Grants in Ontario,
CDC (Centre for Disease Control), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Clinton Foundation,

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The program has been in place for over 15 years and is in use by over 1Million elementary aged children. The evidence has allowed the program to grow and flourish. It has also been mandated by a number of communities. The partnership with the CDC will keep the program sustainable.

Impact Of Program: 

Recent results has yielded a lower rate of childhood obesity by 10% in Intervention communities and schools. Increase in moderate to vigorous physical activity to 50% of lesson time. An increased knowledge of nutrition and healthy food choices.

Evaluation Tools: 

The use of SPAN, SOFFIT and the CDC School Health Index. CATCH has also developed a number of it's own evaluation tools.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

The evaluation and evidence is a key to convince stakeholders to implement a holistic community wide approach to physical activity and nutrition for school aged children.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

The biggest challenge is dealing with the number of stakeholders involved. It is difficult getting consensus among different levels of government and politics plays a big role in the implementation of a new program.

Length and Stage of Project: 

15 years and continuing to grow

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