Elementary students in Breckenridge have joined a healthy alternative to after-school care.
Coordinated Approach to Child Health, or CATCH, is an after-school program designed to promote healthy physical activity and improve eating behaviors in children. The program helps equip students with skills to make healthy decisions while serving nutritious snacks and playing active games.
The program started last year for students at Dillon Valley Elementary, Frisco Elementary, Silverthorne Elementary and Summit Cove Elementary schools. This year, CATCH has expanded to the two Breckenridge elementary schools as well. CATCH is held on-site at the elementary schools, but students who attend Breckenridge Elementary and Upper Blue Elementary take a bus chaperoned by CATCH staff to the Breckenridge Recreation Center, where their CATCH programs will be held.
The town of Breckenridge is partnering with the Keystone Science School, Family & Intercultural Resource Center, Summit County Youth and Family Services and Summit School District to offer the CATCH Kids Club after school at the Breckenridge Recreation Center.
Jessica Morse, youth programs coordinator, said the Breckenridge program has averaged around 30 kids so far. Of those, about 20 had never been to the rec center or used the after-school programs before.
“The affordability we can offer being funded by grants made it so we could open up for families in Breckenridge, especially lower-income families,” she said.
The second session of the program begins Nov. 11 and runs 3:05 to 5:30 p.m. Mondays and 3:55 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. The cost ranges from free to $10 per day, depending on need. Registration is now open for the upcoming session.
“This is a unique county-wide initiative,” Morse said. “The collaboration through all of these organizations creates consistency throughout the schools and programs.”
CATCH is a national program with specific programming and weekly themes. The program includes one hour of physical activity and a nutrition lesson.
“The kids all ask for vegetables now for snacks,” Morse said. “Feedback from the parents is that the program is great, because it’s helping teach kids about nutrition, too.”
Morse said the program mostly caters to students in kindergarten through second grade, as the older elementary school students often choose other program options.
“We hope to be sustainable into the future,” Morse said. “This program really ties into the message that nutrition and exercise go together.”
For more information or to register for the upcoming session, visit www.townofbreckenridge.com/index.aspx?page=1098.
“The affordability we can offer being funded by grants made it so we could open up for families in Breckenridge, especially lower-income families.”
Youth programs coordinator