March 31, 2015
(Austin, TX – March 31, 2015) The National Head Start Association (NHSA) announced this week that they are partnering with the CATCH Global Foundation (CGF). This partnership will facilitate the use of CATCH, an evidence-based physical activity, sun protection, and nutrition education program, in Head Start programs across the country.
“CATCH is very pleased to partner with Head Starts because they are built on an understanding that health is a critical part of learning,” noted CATCH researcher Dr. Shreela Sharma. “The CATCH Early Childhood program is crafted for effectiveness in pre-school learning centers. Children have fun as they learn lessons about healthy eating, and the PE activities, which come with music, keep kids and teachers moving and singing.”
CGF and NHSA are collaborating to improve health in communities nationwide. In previous studies of CATCH implementations in Head Start programs, researchers saw a significant increase in the amount of time spent in vigorous exercise as well as in children’s intake of fruits and vegetables.
“Laying the foundation for a healthy, active life is a critical component of early childhood development,” said NHSA executive director Yasmina Vinci. “We are honored to be partnering with CATCH to offer vulnerable children and families valuable tools and information to pave the way toward a lifetime of healthy living.”
The CATCH Global Foundation will assist Head Start programs in finding grant funding for implementing the CATCH program, and will provide consultative support and technical assistance. CATCH and Head Start will also co-produce webinars and other materials with the goal of improving health understanding and health promotion in Head Start centers.
The National Head Start Association is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 200,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States. Visit www.nhsa.org and follow @NatlHeadStart for more information.