CATCH Healthy Habits, presented in Manchester by SNHS’ Volunteer Services Department, is celebrating the addition of five new volunteers as it starts its new program year.
CATCH (Coordinated Approach for Child Health) is funded through the Wellpoint Foundation, which is known locally as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. It is active in Manchester through a partnership between the OASIS Institute and Southern New Hampshire Services.
The goal of CATCH Healthy Habits is to improve the health and wellbeing of children in kindergarten through grade five and adults age 50 and older while fostering positive intergenerational relationships. The program also increases community engagement through volunteerism.
Volunteer teams of 2-4 adults present a series of lessons that involve a healthy snack, nutrition education and fun physical activities in once-a-week one hour sessions. Since the program began in 2011, CATCH Healthy Habits has served over 200 children and 17 adult volunteers.
Locations where the program is active include the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester, SNHS Head Start, Beech Street School, and Families in Transition. McDonough Elementary School was recently added as a program site. The CATCH Healthy Habits program is being implemented at the school as part of the 21st Century afterschool program.
New Hampshire ranks as the 28th most obese state in the nation; CATCH Healthy Habits works to increase physical activity and improve nutrition in both adults and children to help combat the rise in obesity.
CATCH Healthy Habits is currently recruiting additional volunteers to allow it to expand the program to other Manchester locations. Volunteers, age 50 or better, who participate in the program are trained and encouraged to participate in other forms of healthy activities outside those that occur within the program.