Rahway, NJ - The CATCH Global Foundation and the Rahway Recreation Department will help increase physical activity and healthy eating, reduce childhood obesity and promote healthy community environments among summer camp children ages 5 to 14 years old under a charitable grant provided by the Walmart Foundation in cooperation with the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association.

The grant is providing the CATCH Ò Program, or Coordinated Approach to Child Health, a program to enhance healthy nutrition and physical activity for children in thirteen Summer Camp and After-Care Programs including Rahway’s Summer Playtime in the Park. According to the National Survey of Children’s Health nearly one out of four (24.7%) New Jersey children aged 10-17 is overweight or obese. The NJ Department of Education reports that less than half of all New Jersey high school students are physically active for at least 60 minutes per day, five times per week, the recommended level of physical activity. The CATCH program has been proven to reduce child obesity and improve children’s fitness. These factors have implications for overall health as well as academic success.

The grant will provide training, resources and support that builds each sites capacity to provide children with the knowledge and skills to make healthy food choices and be physically active in a format that is fun and engaging. The project will also teach children how to put the skills they learn into everyday practice. For example, one lesson teaches teens about the relationship between target heart rate and physical activity by having them calculate their heart rates before and after physical activity. In the younger children, activities include identifying healthful eating, exercising and reading nutrition labels. Other lessons touch on topics such as the importance of eating breakfast, healthy snacking and types of fun physical activity.

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The Rahway Recreation Department staff participated in a CATCH training this past week to prepare them to integrate the program into Summer Playtime in the Park as part of Mayor Samson D. Steinman’s Live Well Rahway initiative. Families are invited to stop by Rahway’s Live Well Expo on Saturday, June 17 from 10 am to 1 pm on the Train Station Plaza to learn more about CATCH, preview activities and visit the vendor tables for giveaways and prizes.

The CATCH Global Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity founded in 2014. Their 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. The 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

The New Jersey Recreation and Park Association (NJRPA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting parks and recreation; enhancing the professional development of its members; advocating sound policy and stewardship related to parks, recreation, resource management, and leisure services; and increasing awareness of the value of play and preservation of the environment. This grant program supports NJRPA’s efforts to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life in New Jersey communities.