MADISON CO., N.Y. — It goes without saying that since the beginning of the COVID pandemic in March of 2020, in-person programs have been and sometimes continue to be very challenging. Nevertheless, our Madison County Snap-ed team has made their presence known within the County and especially at Edward R. Andrews Elementary. It was Spring of 2017 when Peter Cribb, CATCH Global Foundation Trainer, traveled from Texas to deliver a training for school classroom teachers, food service, support staff and administrators that has resulted in a whole new wellness culture at Edward R. Andrews.
Fortunately, even during the pandemic SNAP-Ed was unstoppable! Now, with approved virtual education we can visit your classroom anytime any day. Nutrition Educator Neisa Pantalia has been providing 20–25-minute videos once a month to Edward R Andrews. The lessons provided are from CATCH, which is a Coordinated Approach to Child Health. CATCH has one main goal to pursue a healthy environment for children through activity and healthy eating. Beyond the MyPlate CATCH categorizes food into three sections called Go, Slow & Whoa and uses the traffic light to do so. Go foods are GREEN and the healthiest, they need to be chosen most often, Slow foods are YELLOW and may have some added fat, sugar, or salt so we need to slow down on them, and Whoa foods are RED and considered treat foods because they have lots of fat, sugar or salt added, and should be eaten once and awhile.
An apple is a GO food, but sometimes we add a little sugar when we make into apple sauce making it a Slow food, and then I can turn it into a Whoa food by making it into apple pie. No foods are eliminated or should never be eaten, just recognizing what foods we need most. Teachers can play the YouTube video link when it’s convenient for them. Lessons are interactive with pausing and cues for students. Games and student responses make this fun and simple for teachers. Virtual education has provided an effective and innovative solution to time management and the demanding roles of teachers.
Here’s the link to a video that students, teachers, support staff and administrators put together to kick off the CATCH program for 2022: https://cornell.app.box.com/file/905291181745
SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educators are ready to create a whole new wellness culture in schools throughout Madison County in the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. Our Educators are fully trained to implement the CATCH training within the school setting, and it is completely FREE! CATCH stands for Coordinated Approach to Children’s Health which is based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coordinated School Health Model. In this model there are eight components that work interactively to educate young people about and provide support for a healthy lifestyle. The eight components are health education, physical education, health services, nutrition services, counseling and psychological services, healthy school environment, health promotion for staff, and family/community involvement.
The CATCH program provides in depth materials for classroom teachers, child nutrition services staff members, physical educators, and families. All the materials were designed to complement and integrate with one another, when implemented, the entire school environment is affected.
The CATCH Training workshops are fun, dynamic, and multi-dimensional clinics designed to provide the knowledge, skills, and tools to successfully implement and support the CATCH program. Establishing a process that “sets everyone up to succeed” is the key and training does just that!
Since it is a well-known fact that drinking water is essential to health and wellness but getting children to consume enough water is often a challenge, the CATCH Team at Edward R. Andrews decided to start Water Wednesday. Now, every third Wednesday of the month, the Food Service staff put together jugs of flavor infused water that is then distributed by SNAP-Ed Nutritionist to students, faculty and support staff during the lunch periods. Examples of the “flavors” to date are Blueberry, Cucumber-Mint, Pineapple, Mixed Berry, Watermelon and Mango.
–SNAP-Ed Team Leader: Betty Clark
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County