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The Gateway Family YMCA

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The Gateway Family YMCA Provides Healthy Food “Taste Test” to School

In cooperation with the Kindergarten Success Academy, the YMCA provides a taste of healthy foods for students.

Roselle, NJ, April 23, 2014 --( The Gateway Family YMCA – Five Points Branch staff members Thomas Galuppo, Danielle Cioffi, Jessica Samelowicz and Lisa Yanez, along with Mike Johnson, Director of Association Initiatives collaborated with the Kindergarten Success Academy (KSA) of Roselle to provide a healthy “taste test” for the students. Through the taste test, students were exposed to healthy options they might not have tasted otherwise. “It was very interesting indeed to see what foods students liked and have or have not been introduced to,” stated Angela Wyckoff of the Kindergarten Success Academy.

The school has 10 classes and approximately 220 young students. The Gateway Family YMCA and the Kindergarten Success Academy have been collaborating to implement the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) program at the school. CATCH is an award-winning program with more than 15 years of research documenting the program’s success in reducing the rate of childhood obesity, which was developed by the University Of Texas Science Center School Of Public Health. CATCH involves a curriculum including a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and pre and post testing of physical fitness. As part of the program, children also participate in nutrition lessons.

The YMCA-organized taste test provided the students with a taste of various fruits and vegetables. The Y purchased and provided kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, broccoli, celery and healthy dips. The students celebrated the day by wearing their CATCH t shirts. Rosalind Adair of the Kindergarten Success Academy stated, “This was a wonderful activity. The students really did try [the food]. We didn't have enough time to help them write about how the food looked but I'm going to try to do this again with other fruits & veggies, maybe every Friday, letting the child choose the fruit or vegetable of the week.”

Krystal Canady, CEO of The Gateway Family YMCA added, “The collaboration with the Kindergarten Success Academy in Roselle, allows the Y to provide physical and nutritional information to supplement the curriculum of the school. It is a great opportunity for all involved.” The Gateway Family YMCA has been providing the CATCH curriculum within before and after school care and summer camp programs as part of the standard curriculum.

For more information The Gateway Family YMCA, please visit or contact the Elizabeth Branch at 908-355-9622, Five Points Branch at 908-688-9622, Rahway Branch at 908-388-0057, or the Wellness Center Branch at 908-349-9622.
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The Gateway Family YMCA
Colleen Clayton

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