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CATCHing Healthy Habits

CATCH Xylin Hula HoopThree days each week as my co-instructor and I are preparing fresh fruits and vegetables for snack time we hear her voice calling down from the top of a nearby staircase. “Hi Natalie! Guess who’s here!” It is Xylin West, of course! Xylin is a fifth grader who has been attending our CATCH Kids Club afterschool program at Silverthorne Elementary for nearly two full years.

In the hopes of sharing the magical experience of interacting with one of our CATCH kids, I interviewed Xylin asking her a few questions about her experiences in CATCH Kids Club (CKC).

Are there any new foods that you like now because of CATCH?     
Xylin responded, “Ants on a log. I never had celery, peanut butter and raisins before and now I really like them.”

 What have you learned about nutrition at CATCH?
“First, I didn’t know that chicken nuggets didn’t really have much chicken at all!” She exclaimed.  Then she added, “I learned that it’s really important to get exercise, and I also learned about the immune system.”  

Xylin’s mother, Missy West, enthusiastically commented on Xylin’s CKC experience stating, “She loves it! She talks about it and how much fun she has all of the time. She loves planet ball, the scooters that you guys had, and the parachute.”

There is no doubt that Xylin adds a special something to CKC at Silverthorne Elementary. Everything about her is positive and filled with energy right down to her favorite color, yellow. What a privilege it is to spend so much time with such a marvelous young person!

As a CKC instructor I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a program that does so much to strengthen our community. In addition to giving children a place to be active, learn new skills, and experience healthy eating, CKC fills a need in Summit County for afterschool care, while giving a diverse group of elementary children an opportunity to socialize during organized activities. CATCH, or Coordinated Approach to Children's Health, is an evidence-based curriculum providing nutrition lessons and physical activity. Children who participate in CATCH at least 3 days each week for a 12 week period are healthier and better equipped to make educated, nutritional choices. I am confident that participation in CKC has given students like Xylin a place to learn positive habits and develop skills that will continue to serve them for the rest of their lives.

At the end of our interview, I asked Xylin how she would make sure to be healthy and active when CKC is over for the year. Xylin replied, “Well today I walked to my bus stop. My mom and I got good exercise this morning. I will try to eat more healthy foods, and I will do the stretches you taught us in front of the TV.”

Xylin’s enthusiasm surrounding CKC is contagious and will brighten everyone’s day just like the ray of sunshine she is!