CATCH By Choice


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Travis County Newsletter

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CATCH By Choice

  1. 1. CATCH By Choice!  growing a new generation CATCH By Choice! showcases how Travis County Elementary Schools promote healthy living,  healthier food choices, and increased opportunities for students to be physically active.  October 2007  Issue 1  Targeting TEKS & TAKS Alive with learning! Walk in Ms. Dora Romero’s 2nd Coordinated Approach To Child Health grade class and you will see math in motion, a Work Out Word Wall on one side of the room and students transformed into “Exer-Scientists.” “We can’t get away from feeling swamped with TEKS and TAKS,” Ms. Romero points out, “so why not have some fun with it? CATCH lessons are convenient, useful, Ms. Dora Maplew Romero ood Ele —2nd G and kids love them.” mentary rade School, Austin ISD “We can’t get Don’t throw milk cartons away! They are perfect math away from manipulatives. “Numerical fluency feeling swamped is a strong focus in our CATCH It Inside classroom,” she explains. “Milk with TEKS and Mission Nutrition Yadira Pchardo 2 cartons are a perfect tool to TAKS, so why calculate fat grams, serving sizes Copperfield Elementary not have some and other things that reinforce Ms. Veronica Mata CATCH Champion 2 math concepts.” Besides, milk fun with it?” Del Valle Elementary does a body good. It Matters In Manor 3 The Work Out Word Wall is her brainstorm to help comply with MISD CATCH In Action District Wellness Celebration the mandated 135 minutes of weekly physical activity. The new words added are punctuated with activity. Verbs get jumping jacks, Ms. Kim Placker 3 Principal “noun and up” toe touches, and letters get lunges. It also Sunset Valley Elementary increased student interest in vocabulary. Community Health Heroes 4 Anabel Martinez Her Exer-Scientists tend to one of the many Maplewood grade Creedmoor Elementary level gardens. Reinforcing that gardening is a viable physical Ms. Janice Swope activity, students Grow the GO! “The best part is they get to eat 4 CATCH Champion what they grow. It makes a huge difference in how they view food, Pflugerville Elementary their health and their choices.” He Said It…..Mr. Herman Whitney • 21st Century Program Specialist, Pecan Springs Elementary “I am ready – it sounds like you are too. Let’s rock this place and make a difference with the community.”
  2. 2. CATCH By Choice!  2  October 2007 Issue 1  Mission Nutrition It’s 5:30 in the morning. Most folks struggle to get out of bed. “Our entire But for Ms. Yadira Pchardo, it’s cafeteria staff business as usual—just preparing two meals a day for understands the her 600 plus Copperfield importance of Elementary School students. what our “Y” as she is known to most, program must constantly talks with her staff do to help our about the essential role her kids!” program plays in improving the Yadira P chardo— overall health and wellness of Copperf Cafeteri Copperfield students. “Kids care about it (eating healthy),” ield Elem a Manag entary, P er flugervil she shares. “Some have said they’re not going to eat at le ISD McDonald’s anymore because it is a ‘big whoa’.” Promotion and modeling are key. A weekly Veggie Day encourages and awards kids for trying a new vegetable. “I eat healthier, “ she proudly notes. She collaborates with classroom teachers to coordinate the language of CATCH. She took it upon herself to create Go, Slow, & Whoa markers for the cafeteria line. She sees kids CATCHing on to the Go, Slow, & Whoa concept. “The kids ask how much exercise they would have to do for eating a Slow or Whoa Food.” Y sees firsthand the real difference CATCH makes in her own family. Both her children attend Copperfield. They are more involved in shopping at the grocery store and reading food n Champio labels. Now, eating healthy is not only a school effort, but a CATCH Adam Rawls— ry lementa family one as well. And nobody asks “Y not?!” Manor E e Grill at’s on th CA TC H Wh oking C lass tang Co Project Mus We Heard Her…..Ms. Veronica Mata • CATCH Champion, Del Valle Elementary “Our 6th grade team was inspired. They were planning to have a pizza party for the students who have their parents come to meet with their teacher during conference day. They have changed their plan to a turkey dog and carrot party. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
  3. 3. CATCH By Choice!  3  October 2007 Issue 1  It Matters in Manor Nobody knows the value of teamwork better than Becky Rivera, Director of Student & Family Support Services. “I sure hope NUTS are GO Food!” laughs Becky. “Because I sure work with a lot of them! Take one look at her team and it’s not hard to argue! (For the record Becky, nuts are a Slow Food!) But, there is “NUT-thing” slow about what the collaboative effort of Manor ISD’s Food Services, Health Services, “It doesn’t feel and Family Services Top Row : Sherri Hooker, departments accomplish. Bottom Becky R like such a big They may be nuts, but the Row: Cin Manor IS dy Cobia ivera, Ju lie Ann H errera, J D Health , Henry erretta J Cuellar, effort when plans they have for the , Studen t & Fam Virginia ily Supp Badaou i immerso n health and wellness of the Manor ISD community is ort Serv everyone is visionary. “It has to be done.” explains Cindy Cobia, “We don’t have a ices willing to pitch choice when it is a matter of what is best for our children’s health.” in a little!” “We are committed to teamwork.” explains Becky. “It doesn’t feel like such a big effort when everyone is willing to pitch in a little.” This attitude was on display at the recent Manor ISD CATCH In Action! Wellness Celebration held on Saturday, October 5th. The event showcased Manor elementary schools and their commitment to helping children adopt healthier lifestyles. Food Services, Health Services, Facilities, and Student & Family Services collaborated with one another, shared resources and gathered community partners to make the event a tremendous success. “Our district is on a Journey to Excellence,” Jerretta Jimmerson points out, “We need to look good when we get there!” Pecans, cashews, almonds, macadamia and walnuts move aside, Manor is stepping through! And We Quote…..Ms. Kim Placker • Principal, Sunset Valley Elementary “The CATCH program is good for everyone ... the kids, the staff and the parents. It does not take much to implement - you just have to jump in and get started. There are so many small ideas and activities that can make rk athy Cla a huge, immediate impact. Thanks!” andez, K n gel Fern ,A n s pio ndeleria H Cham Betty Ca ry CATC Baty Elementa CATCH a New Idea • Pflugerville ISD PFUN LIVING! EXPO • Baty (DVISD) Back To School Bobcat Health Day • Maplewood (AISD) Garden & Wellness Club Work Day • Allison (AISD) CATCH Fest—Parent & Student Wellness Festival • St. Elmo (AISD) Try It Tuesday—Monthly Taste Tests of Different Fruits • Ortega (AISD) Nutritional Cooking Class presented by El Buen Samaritano • Presidential Meadows (MISD) Eagles Cry CATCH Chant—Friday Morning Movement Assembly
  4. 4. CATCH By Choice!  4  October 2007 Issue 1  Community Health Heroes “You want ideas? How much time do you have?” Walk into Creedmoor Elementary School and you can tell immediately why Anabel asks this question. The campus commitment to CATCH can be seen everywhere: salads made by hand everyday; sixth grade “We are the Salsa Gardens (organic, no less) and salsa for sale as a conduit to our fund raiser; a counselor getting community. ison ity Lia certified to teach children yoga —Co mmu n Mana ger They rely on rtinez o d Se rvice D classes; faculty pedometer nab el Ma o, Fo alle IS Ms. A omer De l V us!” .R Sc hool, pledges; a workout room for e— Mr ntary Abov Eleme moor teachers and staff….“You need Creed a second to CATCH up?” she teases. I’m too busy writing notes to get the pun. “It all started with our Creedmoor Family Fun Night.” Anabel explains. “It was just plain fun!” she says, “We are the conduit to our school community. They rely on us, and everyone comes out!” The event attracted some 500 plus families. Her advice is to get grade levels working together to sponsor a grade level activity. See for yourself at When asked, “how does she knows CATCH is making a difference,” she introduced me to Mr. Romero, the Food Service Manager. He proudly stated, “We feed about 600 kids a day. The district menu offers a fruit and yogurt plate on Wednesdays. We can’t keep enough on the serving line.” I ask her why she is so passionate about her commitment. to CATCH. She explains that she is a diabetic and has seen first-hand the consequences and cost of poor health. “That is why when you give us the ball we are going to run with it. We are just getting started!” And, I am still taking notes….. Whatever It Takes…..Ms. Janice Swope • PE Teacher & Vegetable Costume Designer, Pflugerville Elementary “CATCH is easy to implement. It makes sense to me to have food services, classroom teacher, physical education teacher, and parents working together to empower children to take charge of their health. Having a consistent message about the importance of moving your body and eating healthy helps students understand making healthy choices is a lifestyle for everyone.quot; Okay...we know you are not going to brag about yourself. But, how about bragging on your colleague? Somebody you know deserves recognition for the amazing things they do. Help us CATCH a Story! Please contact us at the 346.6163 or send an email to Joey Walker (; Karen Doramus (; or Jim DeLine (