South Orange Maplewood School District

October 30, 2014


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Since implementing CATCH in 2007, this New Jersey District’s program has received national recognition from industry associations and news organizations. In 2009, the District was awarded a $1.4M federal grant, with CATCH as a cornerstone of their program application. 2,934 students have been impacted by the CATCH program and this is proven by the phone calls from parents who attest that their children are discussing CATCH at the supermarket and dinner table.

judyJudy Lobianco, Supervisor for Health, says “CATCH is a philosophy that is embraced by all of our school stakeholders. It has become a way of life in our schools and in our community.” She further adds that every single student at any of the elementary schools is able to identify a Go, Slow or Whoa food due to the fact that they see and learn the messaging in several places, over several years. Judy also notes that the most success has come from the collaboration of the school community at Jefferson which is known as the model for sustainability that other schools in the CATCH initiative follow. Thanks to the constant follow up and enthusiasm, the initiative has been growing.

Internal innovations within South Orange Maplewood include a staff recognition wall for physical activity and “how did I stay active over the summer” pictures. Additionally, a Go food of the month bulletin board, which is often themed, and a CATCH kick off assembly which includes staff dressed as CATCH characters (Flash Fitness, Salt Slueth, etc.) has been implemented. Lastly, the Golden Lunch Box has been introduced which allows each class to log the number of Go Food snacks for the month and the highest tally is awarded the Golden Lunch Box and has lunch with the principal, as well as an extra recess.

Read one Maplewood mother’s account of her daughter’s CATCH participation here.

“CATCH is a philosophy that is embraced by all of our school stakeholders. It has become a way of life in our schools and in our community.”Judy LoBianco. Supervisor for Health, Physical Education and Nursing Services
2013 Recipient, Channing Mann Award for Physical Education Administration National Association for Sport and Physical Education