This blog post was written by Fiona Cascagnette, Vice President of Child Development and Family Support Programs at the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka.
CATCH: A ‘Coordinated Approach to Child Health’, brings families, schools and communities together to ensure that children are growing up in a healthy, active environment.
The YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka’s Vision is to be the “recognized leader in lifelong health and personal growth” — the CATCH program is perfectly aligned with this vision. Its primary objectives are to support all environments in promoting physical activity, healthy lifestyle choices and to reduce the incidents of bullying by strengthening inclusive play for all children. The initiative is designed to build a mind set in teachers, families and children of healthy, active living – not for a day or a week, but for lifetime.
The YMCA, in partnership with the Simcoe County District School Board and interested Full Day Kindergarten Extended Day operators, has successfully begun to introduce CATCH to schools across Simcoe County. As a result of this success and the positive feedback from both participants and facilitators of the CATCH framework, we are very excited to be introducing this program to several more schools throughout the region.
Not only about physical activity
CATCH incorporates healthy eating, life skills, fun & physical activity, utilizing resources that provide fully inclusive activities and programming.
What are the four components of CATCH?
- Active for 30 minutes per day, at least 50% of the time they are participating in moderate to vigorous activity
- Opportunities for all to participate and learn new skills
- Children take home ideas
- Have FUN!
One timely and primary component of the CATCH initiative is the fact that all activities focus on inclusivity, helping to reduce the incidences of bullying. Elimination games (such as Red Rover) or games using the child as a target (Dodgeball) do not exist within the CATCH framework.
Also, all of the activities are fun, engaging and highly active, which means that children are enjoying themselves, while elevating their heart rates and keeping fit!
The YMCA and the SCDSB are proud to be able to offer such an exciting and impactful resource to the children and families and teachers within Simcoe County and look forward to continuing to strengthen our communities by providing opportunities for all to grow in spirit, mind and body.