The After School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP) and ARCHS are expanding a program with OASIS to bring students and adults over the age of 50 together to learn about healthy eating and physical activity habits.
OASIS' CATCH Healthy Habits works with children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade to lead fun, active games, share healthy snacks, and learn about healthy food choices. Two ASAP sites (Adams Park Community Center and Fairview Elementary School) used the program this past school year and two additional ASAP sites will implement the program during the next school year.
"We could not have found a better partner than ARCHS, whose extensive community-based youth services has enabled us to serve more students in grades kindergarten through fifth and help engage more adult community members throughout the St. Louis metro area," said CATCH Healthy Habits National Coordinator Peter Holtgrave. "We know that our volunteers are in good hands working with ASAP's expert staff, who provide the kind of nurturing, structured, and fun environment that allows CATCH Healthy Habits to be a rewarding, successful experience for students and volunteers alike."
ASAP is a community effort to increase the quality and access to after school programs in the Greater St. Louis area.
As obesity rates in America have tripled for children and doubled for older adults in the last 30 years, with nearly one in three children being overweight, CATCH Healthy Habits plays an important role in combating unhealthy trends by engaging adults as mentors. While OASIS mentors promote healthy habits for the students, they also benefit from better nutrition and increased exercise, in addition to experiencing the rewards of meaningful community service as a volunteer.
"It is truly amazing to see the impact of this intergenerational program for both the youth and the adult participants. Older adults have so much knowledge and experience to share with today's youth, and the children appreciate the support of trusting, caring adults who are concerned about their health and well-being," said CATCH Healthy Habits Local Coordinator Shelby Schroeder. "CATCH Healthy Habits is about learning how to live a healthy lifestyle everyday, but also about the importance of relationships and respecting yourself, your peers, and people of all ages."