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December 18, 2014

YMCAAUSTIN, Texas—December 18, 2014 – The CATCH Global Foundation and the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs today announced a collaboration to bring the evidence-based CATCH child health program to all of the YMCA sites in Texas that don’t already use it. The expansion is funded by a grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, a Founding Partner of the CATCH Global Foundation.

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) has been independently determined to be the most cost-effective means of preventing childhood obesity. Developed over the past 25 years in universities, CATCH is currently used by over 10,000 sites worldwide to combat obesity and improve child health. The Texas YMCA CATCH Kids Club project will expand CATCH Kids Club, an evidence-based physical activity and nutrition education program designed for afterschool and summer settings, to the 11 YMCA Associations across the state that do not already use it.

“Collectively, the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs is the largest after school provider within the state,” explains Ar’Sheill Sinclair, State Advocacy Director for the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs. “We believe it’s our responsibility to make sure that our youth are exposed to quality curriculum and programs that reinforce healthy habits after the school day ends. Through this collaboration we are able lead youth toward positive behaviors and better health even outside of the school day.”

MSDF-copyThis project, set to begin in early 2015, will serve approximately 6,500 children in grades K-8 attending afterschool and summer programs at 129 YMCA sites, with a goal to improve physical activity in out-of-school time. Most of the communities in which these programs are located are majority Hispanic and African American and have high numbers of economically disadvantaged youth, risk factors for elevated rates of overweight and obesity. Additionally, most of the YMCA programs take place within public schools, eliminating barriers to transportation, and enabling more students to access this valuable health education programming.

“This project is an excellent example of organizations working together for collective impact on children’s health,” said Duncan Van Dusen, Executive Director of CATCH Global Foundation. “Resources to expand the proven CATCH Kids Club programming in Texas YMCAs are coming from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation which has a long history of combatting childhood obesity, the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs which promotes best practices such as CATCH, the YMCA Associations themselves, and us. Together we will make positive change in the lives of thousands of Texas children.”

For a full press release and media contacts, Click here for a PDF.