I am delighted that this week’s blog post comes from CATCH, who have been promoting healthier lifestyles kids and communities through innovative initiatives and trainings for over 25 years. You might know them from their awesome CATCH My Breath JUUL & E-Cigarette Prevention Program, but their most recent initiatives highlight how they have responded to the needs of teachers and communities in the face of the pandemic.
It’s an understatement to say that 2020 will go down in the books as one of the most interesting and challenging years to have ever been an educator.
And while challenges are present for all educators, as they juggle between in-person and virtual learning environments, health teachers and classroom teachers in schools without in-person P.E. are facing an even greater task as they seek to answer questions like:
- How, exactly, do you teach physical education online or in socially-distanced environments?
- How do we create a culture of Whole Child wellness on campus and make sure our kids have the time and space to move their bodies and release stress when we’re isolated to our classrooms or online “Zoom” rooms?
- With all the competing priorities, how can we ensure that health education is at the forefront of the school environment during this time of national pandemic – when our students need it most?
At CATCH Global Foundation, we know that keeping kids active is vital to both their physical and mental health, as movement is one of the most effective ways to relieve stress and practice healthy behaviors.
The educators we work with are doing a tremendous job in trying conditions, but often don’t have access to the resources they need to fully support themselves in this new era of learning.
CATCH’s latest initiatives, Health at Home and Restart Smart, are designed to meet educators where they are with the resources they need, providing both P.E. and classroom teachers with real-world strategies to keep kids active and healthy in every learning environment.
Health at Home is a free, online platform providing educators with lesson plans, health promotion resources, and fun games and activities that they can use to teach virtually or in-person. These resources can be accessed anywhere, anytime and cover topics like mindfulness, limited space and limited equipment, physical activities, nutrition lessons, and individual, partner and small group games.
Restart Smart is a program designed for both P.E. and classroom teachers. It consists of three training modules that can be done together or separately. The trainings include:
- Whole Child Leadership: Designed for individuals or teams charged with leading a Whole Child initiative to develop and sustain a culture of health at their elementary or middle school. As we reimagine our schools this year, creating a culture that teaches, incorporates and reinforces healthy behaviors is a top priority.
- P.E. During COVID-19 – In-Person or Hybrid: This training highlights practical, real-world solutions and strategies for providing K-8 physical education while maintaining social distancing and delivering P.E. instruction online.
- Meaningful Movement and Health in the Classroom: Classrooms look and feel different this fall. More than ever, students need opportunities for physical activity, emotional release, and health information. This training prepares K-8 classroom teachers to incorporate meaningful movement and health content into their routines and curriculum whether in person or virtual.
During this time of national pandemic, we must do what we can to help kids stay as safe and healthy and possible. Our nation’s educators are at the forefront of this effort, answering the call to meet the needs of their students in new and creative ways.
Our hope is that these trainings and resources can help teachers continue to provide health and nutrition education, physical activity, and physical education to their students in each and every learning environment.
Visit CATCH Global Foundation’s website to learn more about Health at Home and Restart Smart at www.catchinfo.org.
You might also be interested in a previous blog post from CATCH titled ‘CATCH My Breath’.
Also look out for the new book, ‘When Are We Going To Teach Health? Let’s Teach Health as If Each Child’s Life Depends on it – Because It Does‘ from CATCH Global Foundation Founder & CEO, Duncan Van Dusen.