CATCH in Los Fresnos
CATCH has launched a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) which allowed the implementation of CATCH health and wellness programs in elementary and middle schools in Los Fresnos CISD to impact 7,500 children. CATCH received the grant funding through the “Healthy Kids, Healthy Families” initiative and has made a significant impact on the schools in the district. Julio Araiza, CATCH Champion at Lopez-Riggins Elementary School, vouches for this as he explains that “CATCH has been able to make a big difference in a short period of time. Our school health environment has been enhanced significantly because everyone is engaged and participating.”
Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HKHF) was initially intended to develop the health and wellness of approximately one million children through community funds by Health Care Service Corporation and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. However, after surpassing their goal and impacting three million children, HKHF has become an important program of the organization and a contributing factor in the commitment to advance nonprofit groups that offer maintainable programs to influence children and their families in areas of nutrition, physical wellness, and disease prevention.
One of the noteworthy methods that Lopez-Riggins Elementary School utilizes involves the staff interacting with the CATCH curriculum through library organization. Anita Perez, the librarian at Lopez-Riggins Elementary School created a division for CATCH resources, books, and curriculum so that teachers and students can obtain information both effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, Ms. Perez educates students on nutrition and physical activity once a month, on top of their usual classroom lessons.
CATCH Global Foundation’s Executive Director, Duncan Van Dusen, has witnessed the community action in Los Fresnos and stated that, “CATCH’s Coordinated School Health model works best when the entire community works together–teachers, administrators, healthcare staff. What we’ve seen at this launch in Los Fresnos proves that the whole community is at the ready to coordinate, and to change kids’ lives.”