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CATCH Expands School Health Initiative to Nearly Half of JPPSS

Pictured from left are (back row)) Ashley Navarre, Denise Carpenter, Marion Bonura, Ricky Johnson, Dr. Cade Brumley, Duncan Van Dusen, (front) Heaven Parker, Sadie Childers, and Cain Hope.

Students at nearly half the schools in the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) are learning to live healthier lives thanks to another expansion of the CATCH Coordinated School Health Initiative. Sixteen schools are being added to this initiative, bringing the total number of CATCH schools in JPPSS to 39. These latest additions come thanks to $78,700 in funding from Baptist Community Ministries (BCM).

“I’m thankful for the CATCH program and for the support of Baptist Community Ministries in enhancing wellness education for so many of our kids,” said JPPSS Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “I wish all our CATCH schools the best as they teach our students and families the importance of living an active, healthy lifestyle.”

JPPSS leaders celebrated successes from the first two phases of the “New Orleans CATCH Coordinated School Health Initiative” and the latest expansion during a special ceremony recently at Strehle Elementary. CATCH has changed the way its schools approach student fitness and overall health. The program helps kids and parents learn to make healthier food choices and be more active in their daily lives.

The newest CATCH schools in JPPSS are: Audubon Elementary, Collins Elementary, Cox Elementary, Ellender School, Gretna No. 2 Academy, Kerner Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Patrick Taylor Academy, West Bank Community School, Woodland West Elementary, Woodmere Elementary, Woods Elementary. CATCH is identifying four additional schools to round out this year’s expansion.

This is the third phase in the CATCH initiative in JPPSS. Phase 1 of the New Orleans CATCH Coordinated School Health Initiative was successfully piloted in eight elementary schools with an $80,000 grant from the Humana Foundation. Phase 2 of the project expanded the CATCH Program to sixteen more JPPSS schools thanks to a $159,000 grant from the Humana Foundation.

Multiple evaluations of the initiative demonstrate positive impacts on students’ health, with results from phase 2 showing students reported a 32% increase in the number of days spent playing outside per week, a 16% increase in daily fruit consumption, and a 19% increase in water consumption.

CATCH Global Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity founded in 2014. Its mission is to improve children’s health worldwide by developing, disseminating and sustaining the CATCH platform in collaboration with researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. CATCH Global Foundation links underserved schools and communities to the resources necessary to create and sustain healthy change for future generations. For more information, visit www.catchinfo.org.

Baptist Community Ministries is a faith-based Christian organization committed to developing healthy communities in the New Orleans area. BCM works to improve the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the individuals we serve.