The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey
New Jersey YMCA State Alliance
In 2008, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance created Healthy U – a collaborative initiative to combat the obesity epidemic among New Jersey children. The goal of the program is to prevent childhood obesity through nutrition education, increased physical activity, and family involvement. Healthy U utilizes the CATCH curriculum to promote healthy behavior changes at home and in school that can last a lifetime. In 2012, Healthy U began to expand beyond after school programs and into preschools and schools. Healthy U is the largest implementer of the CATCH curriculum in the country.
Since implementation at New Jersey YMCA’s in 2008, the CATCH program has yielded significant results across Healthy U, most notably an increase in children requesting favorite fruits and vegetables. Other outcomes include an increase in 30 minute play outside and a decrease in the number of hours spent watching television.
“When you break it down into Go-Slow-and-Whoa, [children] can start to recognize it at a really early age, and that starts to travel through the family and impact the parents.”- Sue Cornell, Program Director, Healthy U
“We are here for healthy living, for youth development, for social responsibility, and Healthy U fits into all of those components.”- Lisa Yanez, Child Development Director, YMCA Eastern Union County Five Points Branch
“We wanted something that would really be more wholistic in its approach so people would [recognize it] as the Horizon and YMCA’s program to combat childhood obesity and improve the health and well-being of New Jersey families.”- Jonathan Pearson, Executive Director, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey
“By 2030, in New Jersey, the prediction is that 48% of our adults will be obese. It’s so important to start things now.”- Mike Johnson, Director of Association Initiatives, YMCA Eastern Union County Five Points Branch
“I’ve been in health and physical education for 20 years and I’ve never seen a program have such an impact on my children. They’re looking to cook with mom and dad now. That really shows us that kids are internalizing these messages for life.”- Judy LoBianco, Supervisor of PE & Health, South Orange-Maplewood School District
“If we think big, if we work together, what a difference we can all make to help kids, change lives, and maybe to save lives.”- Rick Gorab, President and CEO, Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges
Web Posts / Newsletters
"Last but not least, our final CATCH Award, the "CATCH Award for Excellence in State Health," goes to Healthy U! CATCH users since 2008, Healthy U efforts have included nutrition education and increased physical activity in schools and YMCA childcare settings across the state of New Jersey. Partners like you are vital to help our mission grow!"
"YMCA staff participated in various Healthy U/CATCH School Implementation trainings in August. These YMCA school leaders will be assisting with their schools training and will be key in facilitating Healthy U and CATCH activities in their schools!"
"Healthy U uses the CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) curriculum in the preschool, afterschool and elementary school settings. CATCH is an evidence-based and award winning curriculum that was created in 1992 by national education and child health experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health (UTHSC) and the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living."
"Our After School kids love being healthy and making 'Ants on a Log' with the help of our Healthy U CATCH Nutrition Book! What's needed? Celery, Raisins, and Peanut Butter/Cream Cheese/Hummus"
"The Hamilton Area YMCA After School programs support the Healthy U/CATCH Initiative, promoting healthy choices and at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This week, we celebrate the Healthy U Kickoff with fun games, nutrition lessons, and some free shirts!"
"We're hosting the Healthy U CATCH Academy! Over the course of three days at our Sawmill Branch, representatives from Y's across New Jersey are learning to become Master Trainers of the #HealthyU curriculum."
"Children in the Y's Early Childhood, After School, and Camp programs learn about Go, Slow, and Whoa foods as part of the Healthy U CATCH curriculum. Here's an article with similar information for adults!"
"We use Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey "Healthy U" CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) curriculum during our After School Programs and we demonstrate them for you. SIGN UP TODAY!"
"Honored to present @YHealthyU with the "CATCH GO Bowl" trophy (filled with GO food 🍒) last week at #HealthUSymposium2018 at Metlife Stadium. Healthy U has used CATCH in their statewide health initiatives for a decade! Learn more here:"
"Amazing day at Healthy U Symposium at @MLStadium with @YHealthyU @HZNFoundation @GoldinMartinez @GetFocused. Thank you to the NJ State YMCA Alliance and @dvandusen for awarding me with an CATCH Award Grant to implement in my school."
"Healthy U is a program that utilizes the CATCH curriculum. Why do we use CATCH? Because it WORKS! Check out this video."
"Inclusive games. Non-elimination. 'Infection tag.' #ForChildrensHealth #CATCH #BASICS #InvolvementByAll"
"Spotswood Elementary School students proudly share their new CATCH equipment from Healthy U. Just one more school supporting healthy environments for students. Thank you Spotswood Elementary and the Raritan Valley YMCA for working together to keep kids moving and eating well."
"#YhealthyU #YhealthyUCelebrates @YHealthyU
School aged after care CATCH Kick-Off with the Garfield YMCA on 10/22/15"
"#YhealthyU #YhealthyUcelebrate @YHealthyU @GarfieldYMCA Catch Kick Off!"
Healthy Living at YMCA General Assembly (Healthy U)
"Congrats to our friends @YHealthyU for 8 years of CATCH in schools & afterschool programs throughout NJ! Great vid:"
"Sue Cornell at #COC15 showcasing how @njymca & @HorizonBCBSNJ work together on @YHealthyU to bring CATCH to NJ kids!"
"Thanks @njdotcom for your coverage of the @YHealthyU program! We're excited for CATCH to go to work in Garfield, NJ!"
"More from the Healthy U - CATCH KICKOFF at Stony Brook @YHealthyU @HVYMCA"
"14 @ymca #HealthyU trainers completing peer modeling at CATCH Leaders Academy @USACATCH @HorizonBCBSNJ @sueyhealthyu"
"Quicker, quicker! #Relays #HaveFun #CATCH"
"Thirty minutes of games with 50% Moderate-to-Vigorous Activity - one of the main objectives of our CATCH philosophy."
"Here are a few more pictures from #HealthyUSymposium2018 held at Metlife Stadium!"
"Challenge by choice. Involvement by all. Activity from the get go. HAVE FUN! New Jersey YMCA State Alliance CATCH"
"Congrats @YHealthyU & @njymca for successfully promoting #HealthyLiving and childhood obesity prevention to over 76,000 children and their families over the last 10 years! #CATCHworks"
The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey
The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey works to improve the health of New Jersey residents by promoting health prevention and education programs across the state.Visit Website