At the CATCH Global Foundation, we are committed to improving children’s health worldwide by developing, disseminating and sustaining the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) platform.
We know that our scientifically-proven physical activity and nutrition program enables thousands of schools, families and communities to create an environment that improves children’s health, increases academic success and supports a lifetime of wellness. Our mission is to link underserved schools and communities to the resources necessary to create and sustain healthy change for future generations – a lasting impact.
As part of our mission, we also devote our work to ensure that cost and accessibility is not a barrier for any school or school district that wishes to obtain the CATCH program and implement it in their school. In other words, if your school needs and wants the program, we want to collaboratively work with you to ensure that CATCH is integrated into your site.
We call this commitment and work The CATCH Promise. Our Foundation will keep working to assist qualifying schools with the curriculum, materials, training, evaluation, and to deliver ongoing technical assistance and support to promote long-term sustainability.
The CATCH Promise fosters CATCH implementations through community collaboration and coalition-building centered around schools and school districts meeting the following criteria:
- Critical Need: Schools must be part of a district with at least 75% of students eligible for free-or-reduced price lunch.
- Critical Mass: Schools must be part of a district with at least 14,000 K-8th grade students.
- Critical Demand: Schools and school districts must show evidence of desire to implement CATCH including written support from leadership.
- Critical Support: Long-term projects must have a community coalition and other sources of funding behind them.
All children should have the knowledge and resources to live longer, healthier lives. And it begins in their schools.
These criteria ensure that we are helping those who need and want the program the most, while impacting a large number of students with sustained commitment from their community and school administration.
And we’re moving the needle for the health of these students. After just one year of working with the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, 74 percent of students show improvement in their knowledge of nutrition or physical activity, and 71 percent spend more time being physically active, eating more nutritional meals or decrease screen time. In our work with Ysleta ISD, we saw also see a significant improvement in the amount of time students spend being physically active and in the amount of fruits, vegetables and water they consume.
Other project opportunities are under development for 2017. Next, we will expand to Brownsville ISD (Brownsville, TX) and Oklahoma City Public Schools (Oklahoma City, OK), and several others that will be named soon. Also, a new partnership between CATCH and Let’s Move Active Schools will bring this program to two more communities in 2017.
All children should have the knowledge and resources to live longer, healthier lives. And it begins in their schools. By working together, we can ensure we’re setting students on the path to a lifetime of health because we know they deserve it.
Duncan Van Dusen is the Founding Executive Director and a member of the Board of Directors of CATCH Global Foundation. A social entrepreneur with over 20 years of leadership experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, Duncan was previously CEO and Founder of Tango Health and SVP of Sales & Marketing at Works. He holds an AB from Princeton University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Texas.