2018 is shaping up to be a healthy year at St. Joseph’s Indian School!
As of January 15, a new program called Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) is in place for students. The program is part of a nationwide effort to combat childhood obesity and teach students healthy lifestyles.
The entire campus community is on board to help our students. Houseparents posted CATCH materials and visual aids in the homes. At school, healthy tips are read during the morning announcements. Teachers will present at least one CATCH lecture during each 6-week theme and will “CATCH-ify” classroom activities. Classrooms are also implementing the energizers, turning the study of math facts into an active game in the gym. In addition, the dining hall has posted similar materials and now labels food as “Go, Slow, or Whoa.”
“At St. Joseph’s, we say that we wrap care around our students. This is a wellness wrap and speaks to the ‘body’ in our mission statement of educating students – body, mind, heart and spirit,” said houseparent Trond Peterson. “A healthy body contributes to every aspect of that statement.”
When it comes to healthy eating, the new CATCH program will offer clear-cut information for students to make healthy decisions. However, rather than labeling foods as “good or bad,” CATCH labels them “Go, Slow or Whoa” – to show that even though some foods are higher in calories (the Whoa foods), they can still be enjoyed in moderation and not given up completely, helping students recognize balance.
“In the past, the main tool we had available to educate students on nutritional needs was to have a dietician speak to students and staff. This technique did not show the desired progress we were looking for, but rather caused more confusion,” said Ronda, an LPN at St. Joseph’s Health and Family Services Center. “The CATCH tools are simpler.”
CATCH focuses on both nutrition and exercise. Rather than a boring, dreaded task, CATCH exercise materials provide countless ideas for turning normally-stationary tasks into energetic, enjoyable experiences.
Students are already taking notice of the changes around campus. CATCH activities are taking place in PE and Personal Living Skills classes, and staff have heard children using the new CATCH language when talking about meals and snacks – all positive changes that should only increase with time.
“The health and wellness of our students is important to us – even after they have graduated,” said Ronda. “It is our hope that by introducing healthy decision-making skills to our students early will allow them to lead healthy and fulfilling lives no matter what path they may follow.”