Afterschool program providers will learn techniques to help kids stay active and eat well during a workshop Friday, Aug. 9, at Wright State University.
Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Wright State Nutter Center in classrooms 240–241, the CATCH Kids Club workshop is offered by the Dayton/Montgomery Public Health Department, Ohio Action for Healthy Kids and Wright State’s Department of Kinesiology and Health.
The CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Childhood Health) Kids Club is a physical activity and nutrition education program for elementary and middle school aged children in afterschool and summer settings.
Friday’s workshop program is part of a national public health movement to prevent childhood obesity in high-need communities, said Mary Chace, Ph.D., assistant professor of kinesiology and health and an advisor for the Community Health Education program.
Staff from afterschool facilities will receive free curriculum and physical activity equipment and learn how to organize fun, effective daily activities for students in their programs.
“Unfortunate budget cuts in some schools have resulted in less time for physical and health education, and some well-meaning administrators are cutting recess to squeeze more time for academics,” Chace said. “It is important to find alternative ways to keep young people active.”
In addition, the workshop will include information on healthy eating and nutrition. Participants will learn how to help the young people in their programs to purchase and prepare health food.
“It teaches kinds the skills to make good choices” about food and nutrition, Chace said.
Five Dayton-area facilities, including El Puente Learning Center and After-School All-Stars, will participate in the workshop. Two Wright State students in the Community Health Education program will also participate.
This is the third time training for the CATCH program has been offered in the area, Chace said. The program is “one of only two evidence-based programs for afterschool environments in the country,” she said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in eight preschool students is obese in the United States. Children who are overweight or obese as preschoolers are five times as likely as normal-weight children to be overweight or obese as adults. A new CDC study found that obesity rates in low-income Ohio preschoolers remained stagnant between 2008 and 2011.
More information on the CATCH Kids Club is available at catchusa.org/ckc.htm.