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November 2, 2016

It’s been a year since the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit teamed up with the CATCH Global Foundation in October of 2015 to bring evidence-based CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) programming to all YMCA after-school sites in Metro Detroit. The project was part of a Michigan statewide effort involving the State Alliance of Michigan YMCAs and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and made possible through generous support from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

CATCH Kids Club (CKC) was incorporated into 44 YMCA after-school programs in 2016. CKC is a physical activity and nutrition education program designed specifically for elementary and middle school aged children (grades K-8) in either an after-school or summer setting. The program also aligns with Health Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Guidelines, and was overseen by the Detroit YMCA’s HEPA Team.

In spring of 2016, the HEPA team began to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. They conducted an evaluation of 14 of their most vulnerable sites – classified by schools with the highest rates of free and reduced lunch in their district. Pre-surveys were administered to students in mid-March of 2016, and post-surveys were collected three months later in mid-June. Students’ parents were also evaluated at the end of the program with a Parent Survey. While the compiled data is preliminary, these community-driven results are very promising and show how the CATCH curriculum can be used to promote HEPA Standards:


“I’m very proud of all the hard work of the HEPA team and the results we were able to achieve this past year,” said Eli Kim, HEPA Coordinator for the YMCA of Metro Detroit’s Healthy Living and Life Skills program.

The HEPA team will use all the feedback gathered from students and parents to guide their programming in the coming year, and will continue analyzing the program’s impact on the health and wellness of the children they serve.