Letters from Leadership
Thank you for being part of our vital mission of teaching children how to be healthy for a lifetime.
Despite the upheavals and tragedies of 2020, I believe we will look back at it as a breakthrough year.
CATCH created and delivered virtual training to 1,750 educators, approximately 40% of whom were new to CATCH, helping them teach health in the new world of hybrid and distance learning. We also expanded CATCH’s reach to 75,000 educators, health officials and supporters, thousands of parents using our free Health at Home portal, and over 3 million PreK-12th grade youth.
This surge in interest shows that 2020 was also a breakthrough year for teaching health, as more and more educators and parents come to the conclusion that I express in my recent book, When Are We Going to Teach Health? that “health requires education, and education requires health.”
The foregoing report details many of the year’s accomplishments, and shows the exciting path we have laid out for 2021 and beyond. During the first 6 months of 2021 alone, CATCH will:
- Deliver our first “SEL & PE: A Perfect Match” trainings in partnership with EduMotion
- Complete our pilot year of “Whole Child Guided Journey” implementation, and enroll a ‘21-’22 cohort of 40 more schools
- Continue to build statewide partnerships and capacity for Whole Child healthy eating and active living work throughout the state of Michigan, with support from the Michigan Health
- Expand our evidence-based CATCH My Breath youth vaping prevention work through state-level collaborations in California, Massachusetts, and Mississippi, and launch a locally-adapted version of the program in Canada.
- Build out oral health programming in the form of a supplement to CATCH My Breath for middle- and high-schoolers and launch CATCH Healthy Smiles, a stand-alone program for elementary schoolers funded by a National Institutes of Health grant to UTHealth.
I continue to be honored and humbled to serve the great CATCH team and all of our passionate CATCH communities and partners.
Have a happy and, above all, healthy 2021!
Duncan Van Dusen
Founder & CEO
CATCH Global Foundation
I started working on CATCH as a graduate student in 1987, while pursuing my Masters in Public Health, probably before some of you were born.
At that time, I was part of the main National Institutes of Health (NIH) Randomized Control Trial, three NIH follow up studies, and many, many dissemination research and demonstration projects, all of which focused on the impact and effectiveness of the CATCH health programs. Today, I’m working on two more CATCH NIH RCT studies: CATCH Healthy Smiles (with Dr. Shreela Sharma, Principal Investigator) and CATCH My Breath.
As I peer back in time from here, I couldn’t be prouder of the accomplishments we have made at CATCH Global Foundation toward our mission of disseminating CATCH school health programs to youth from every background across the U.S. Through these accomplishments, we now reach more than 3 million kids each year with education and resources to help them live healthy and empowered lives.
I am confident that the sweat equity devoted by hundreds of researchers and thousands of school health partners over the past 33 years has laid a strong foundation for CATCH Global Foundation to continue expanding and delivering high-quality programs and training well into the future.
Thank you all for being part of this mission and our work.
Dr. Steven Kelder, MPH, Ph.D.
Board of Directors Chair
CATCH Global Foundation
Board of Directors
Stefani Dawkins, Wells Fargo Bank**
Priscila D. Garza, MS, The University of Texas School of Public Health*
Ernest Hawk, MD, MPH, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Steven Kelder, PhD, MPH, The University of Texas School of Public Health
Shweta Patira, LinkedIn*
Kevin Ryan, Delta Dental Community Care Foundation**
Nicholas Saccaro, Quest Food Management Services**
Allison Schnieders, Esq, FAIR Health, Inc.*
Duncan Van Dusen, MPH, CATCH Global Foundation
Margo Wootan, DSc, MXG Strategies*
* Joined in 2020
** Joined in 2021
1/3 Ashlynn Maier, Nutrition Education Program Assistant, Nebraska Extension
2/3 Kash Aleem, K-5 Physical Education Teacher, Katy ISD
3/3 Zarah Khondoker & Jessica Silva, students
Health at Home: CATCH COVID Response
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sent the country reeling, as schools shut down and students and parents were forced into virtual home learning environments. To assist with this transition and ensure health education stayed at the forefront of children’s lives, CATCH launched Health at Home, an online platform providing parents and educators access to free health education resources and activities. To date, more than 6,000 people have signed up with Health at Home, impacting countless more kids.
Virtual Training Courses Help Educators & Students Stay Healthy & Safe
CATCH’s virtual training courses – our second wave of COVID response resources – launched in July 2020 to serve educators as they prepared to re-enter schools in the 2020-2021 school year. This series of training courses, originally called “Restart Smart,” addresses Whole Child Leadership, P.E. During COVID-19 (In-School & Hybrid), and incorporating Meaningful Movement in the Classroom. To date, CATCH has served more than 1,300 educators through its virtual training courses, ensuring consistent delivery of whole child health education in the 2020-2021 school year.
CATCH Launches Video Lessons for Educators
To further meet educator needs in the COVID era, CATCH also launched a suite of ready-to-play video lessons using CATCH’s evidence-based health and CATCH My Breath vaping prevention classroom curricula. By the end of the year, the video lessons were played over 8,500 times asynchronously by students and 1,700 times by teachers.
Lessons include fun and dynamic visuals, read-aloud storytimes, activity breaks, and peer-to-peer learning components, and offer educators ease of delivery in both virtual and in-person learning environments. Each CATCH Health bundle also includes 4 new Fighting Illness & MVP video lessons.
CATCH My Breath Highlights
CATCH My Breath, CATCH’s youth nicotine vaping prevention program, continued to expand rapidly in 2020, serving educators and youth confronted by the current vaping crisis. The program now reaches more than 1.4 million youth in more than 4,000 schools. Some highlights from CATCH My Breath in 2020 include:
- CATCH My Breath became the first and still only (as of April 2021) youth vaping prevention program in the world to publish evidence of effectiveness in reducing youth vaping. Our study in the peer-reviewed journal Public Health Reports found that CATCH My Breath reduces youth experimentation with vaping by up to 45 percent among students who complete the program.
- Released a curriculum addendum called “Vaping, Lung Health, and Infectious Disease,” detailing the links between vaping and COVID-19.
- Trained 500 educators to implement CATCH My Breath and/or train other educators on implementation.
- Worked with partners at University of Waterloo to adapt and refine the program for Canadian students. CATCH My Breath Canada officially launched February 2021.
CATCH My Breath Service Learning Project Scholarship Winners
In June, CATCH My Breath was pleased to award three national scholarships totaling $5,000 to students who submitted exceptional Service Learning Projects on vaping prevention. The winners were: Romi Eldah of Connecticut (1st Place), Jessica Silva of Connecticut (2nd Place) and Matthew Miller and Zarah Khondoker of New Jersey (3rd Place).
In addition, thanks to our generous sponsor Dr. Gene Napoliello, CATCH My Breath awarded $500 in cash prizes to students who submitted vaping prevention poster designs. The winners were: Turner Fentress of Alabama (1st Place), Alexis Ngo of Arizona (2nd Place), and Marisol Ramos of Alabama (3rd Place).
In November, CATCH Global Foundation CEO Duncan Van Dusen published When Are We Going to Teach Health?, a “Big Idea” book advocating for prioritizing health in K-12 schools and synthesizing case studies of CATCH and other grassroots efforts in action. The book sold 1,000 copies in the first 6 weeks, vaulting it to Amazon’s #1 Hot New Release in Early Childhood Education and Nutrition, and #1 bestseller rank in Children’s Health, Education Policy & Reform, Parenting Nutrition for Kids, and several other categories.
The book has also attracted the attention of professors teaching undergraduate and graduate students of education, public health, PE & health education, and related disciplines. It has been put on the spring 2021 syllabus at top universities including The University of Texas at Austin, UTHealth School of Public Health, Wright State University, and Montclair State University, and is also being considered for use at the University of Michigan, U Mass – Boston, and Rice. Training the educators of the future in CATCH!
Whole Child Guided Journey
Building on our successful 2020 pilot, CATCH will continue to offer our virtual Whole Child Guided Journey, covering all aspects of the CATCH Whole Child Health program, to districts across the U.S.
Action for Healthy Kids
CATCH’s ongoing partnership with Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) in 2020 and 2021 allows us to bring our Whole Child Guided Journey to 20 schools in Irving ISD, as well as CATCH health curriculum to an additional 20 schools in Irving, via support from the AFHK Game On Nutrition Education Grant program.
CATCH My Breath & Mississippi Department of Health
Mississippi joins California, Indiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, and others in selecting CATCH My Breath to lead their youth vaping prevention efforts.
The Mississippi State Department of Health awarded CATCH My Breath $100,000 to deliver two state-wide anti-vaping events and a PSA contest to students in grades K-12. The events will incorporate work from more than 60 state-wide community partners and the #BeVapeFree partnership with Discovery Education.
CATCH My Breath & California TUPE
CATCH My Breath has been awarded a 2-year grant to support the Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Capacity Building Project, a California state project led by the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) in partnership with the California Department of Education (CDE). This work will include creating a course on best practices for developing and disseminating youth tobacco prevention programs, and leading train-the-trainer sessions for dozens of CATCH My Breath Community Trainers around the state.
CATCH My Breath Oral Health Curriculum
Thanks to the generous support of DentaQuest, CATCH My Breath, in partnership with UTHealth, will release a free curriculum addendum to our CATCH My Breath vaping prevention program in 2021 educating students in grades 5-12 on the oral health impacts of vaping.
CATCH Healthy Smiles
CATCH Healthy Smiles brings oral health into the ever-expanding portfolio of CATCH’s Whole Child programming. The program’s core components consist of 5 classroom lessons per year and a weekly tooth brushing routine for students in K-2. The program mirrors other CATCH programs in that it is a truly coordinated approach to achieving its aims by including cafeteria labels for “tooth-friendly foods,” activities at family fun nights, PE supplements, posters, and more.
Dr. Shreela Sharma at UTHealth has received a grant from the NIDCR for a Clustered Randomized Control Trial that will begin implementation in the Fall of 2021. The program will also be available to schools to use starting in Fall 2021 outside of the research study.
SEL & PE: A Perfect Match
This year, CATCH is thrilled to team up with EduMotion, a movement-based digital SEL program, to provide a series of trainings grounded in the latest research on how P.E. teachers can embed SEL into their existing P.E. curriculum and activities.
Revenue & Expenses
Jennifer & Keith Daniels
Melissa De Leon-Mann
JJ Pearce DECA
Arlene and Dave Edgar
Tiffani N Erdmanczyk
Vivian & Jeffrey
Doug Jones Family
Mac and Mary Lewis
Linda & John McGuire
Ruth Rechis Oelker
DJ Ronnie Race
Duncan Van Dusen
Elizabeth R Van Dusen
Kerry Van Dusen
Sarah Larkin Vasquez
Deb Salvo & Umberto Villa
Featured School Districts