Sussex County YMCA Promotes Being Active and Staying Healthy in After School Program

Franklin Borough Elementary School enjoying afterschool activities.

Franklin Borough Elementary School enjoying after school activities.

The Sussex County YMCA is dedicated to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. The Y strives to help keep communities healthy and strong. The Sussex County YMCA, through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, is able to teach local children at the Franklin Borough Elementary after school program learn more about healthy living.

The children in the after school program at Franklin Borough Elementary School have learned the importance of increased time, intensity and duration of physical activity during the school day and after school programs. Through The Coordinated Approach to Childhood Health (CATCH) program implemented at Franklin Borough Elementary School. By teaching children that eating healthy and being physically active every day can be fun, CATCH and the Healthy U program has proven that establishing healthy habits in childhood can promote behavior changes that can last a lifetime, with a long term goal to decrease obesity.

Healthy U and CATCH is an evidence-based program, designed to promote physical activity and healthy food choices in children. The after school CATCH curriculum is proven to have a positive impact on children ages 5-13. CATCH has proven that establishing healthy habits in childhood can promote behavior changes that can last a lifetime. It delivers coordinated messages about the importance of physical activity and nutrition. It also encourages parents and caregivers to help children learn behaviors to lead a healthier life.

Healthy U is a collaborative partnership between the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey with the goal of combating childhood obesity by delivering nutrition education, physical activity and parental involvement.

The Y has been utilizing Healthy U and CATCH Programs in its after school program at the Franklin Borough Elementary School. The CATCH program includes non-elimination games, along with the equipment needed for the activities, and a nutrition manual with weekly lesson plans. The program also includes letters to parents that reinforce and extend the lessons presented throughout the program, therefore making a bigger impact at home.

It is the hope of the Sussex County YMCA that CATCH continues to be a resource for children in our after school rogram and well into the future and that children’s lives are truly impacted for the better as they learn how to take care of their bodies through healthy eating and by staying active, allowing them to live long, full and healthy lives.

The Sussex County YMCA staff will provide additional training to the Franklin Borough Elementary afterschool staff and purchase supplemental CATCH equipment with the support of grant funds in order to strengthen the impact of the Healthy U program.

 

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