Bedford, NH – Running around the gym stealing scarves from kids’ pockets might sound disrespectful, but if you’re a kid in an afterschool program in New Hampshire, you’re movin’ and groovin’ to a favorite CATCH Kids Club game called Dragon Tails!

Since 2008, the Foundation for Healthy Communities (FHC) in Concord has worked to create healthy environments in afterschool programs across the state.  With a six-year grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, the FHC has been able to embed the evidence-based CATCH Kids Club curriculum in 130 after school programs in New Hampshire through staff training, equipment and ongoing support.

With this obesity prevention curriculum, if you’re tagged out in a game (or your scarf is stolen), you perform a re-entry task like jumping jacks to get right back in the game. Keep all kids moving and having fun – that’s the goal.

Now, thanks to a partnership with ACROSS NH (A Comprehensive Resource for Out of Schooltime Staff) which received a $10,000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the work to create healthier afterschool environments can continue. The new grant will provide seven participating afterschool programs with funds to purchase curriculum and equipment like hoops, bean bags, balls and scarves – impacting 12 sites.

“The programs we’ve been able to work with have become leaders in promoting healthy and active lifestyles for school age children” said Laura Hesse Moran, the coordinator of the CATCH Kids Club Initiative in New Hampshire. Moran has collaborated with ACROSS NH to create and facilitate a five-part childhood obesity prevention workshop series designed to embed healthy eating and active living policies in afterschool programs.  Programs need to participate in the entire series in order to receive funding.

“ACROSS NH is committed to supporting the good health of students in afterschool programs,” said Susan Gimilaro, Project Director of ACROSS NH.  “The CATCH Kids Club Initiative provides afterschool staff with the skills and tools they need to impact the health of the children they serve.”


As a result of participating in the 2012-13 workshop series, Jennifer Desmond, site coordinator for the New Hampton Community School afterschool program, is now offering fresh snacks to the kids each day.  Her staff has been trained to use the

CATCH Kids Club curriculum, and has created a policy in their program to offer three hour-long blocks of physical activity daily in their program.

“The majority of children in our program are engaged in physical activity at least four times a week during our hour-long blocks,” she said. “More often than not, the children are opting for physical activities rather than computers.”

Due to the guidance, curriculum and equipment funding they received, all of this is possible.

Now participating in the 2013-14 workshop series, Sabrina Sargent, Program Coordinator for the Kid Adventures Afterschool Program at Hillsboro-Deering Elementary has rolled out a new vision for her program just this month.

She set a goal to work within the existing budget to re-organize snack offerings, and now, she added, “We’re serving fresh fruits or vegetables as part of snack, and today the kids just devoured the oranges.”

Half of Sargent’s team joins her at every workshop in the series, as they are all energized to make healthy changes to their program and keep kids active with CATCH.  “It helps that we’re all on the same page and want to create a healthy environment for the students together,” she said.

Thanks to the newly acquired funding from the NH Charitable Foundation, these afterschool sites now have the equipment and curriculum needed to be successful in establishing healthy, active environments in their after school organizations.

For a complete list of all sites in New Hampshire that have been trained to use the CATCH Kids Club curriculum since 2008, visit the CATCH Kids Club Initiative page at the Foundation for Healthy Communities website at

And remember, next time your dragon’s tail is stolen – just do some jumping jacks and you can get right back in the game!

Contact any of the afterschool programs below to hear their personal success stories. Participating sites include:

2012-2013 ACROSS Workshop Participants:

  1. Great Bay Kids Club, Exeter (3 sites)
  2. Hallsville Elementary School 21C Program, Manchester
  3. ACES 93, Swanzey
  4. Winchester ACCESS, Winchester
  5. Project Promise, New Hampton Community School, New Hampton

2013-2014 ACROSS Workshop Participants:

  1. Boys & Girls Club of Concord (3 onsite programs)
  2. Kid Adventures, Hillsboro-Deering Elementary School, Hillsboro
  3. Project Edventure, Marl/Harris BASP, Marlborough
  4. Seymour Osman Community Center, Dover
  5. YMCA Camp Coniston (4 locations), Lebanon, Plainfield, Hanover, New London
  6. Project Promise, Newfound Memorial Middle School, Newfound
  7. 4H Afterschool Enrichment, Hillsborough County


ACROSS NH is a project of the Southeastern Regional Education Service Center (SERESC) and is funded by the NH DHHS through the Child Development Bureau. Learn more at our website


The Foundation for Healthy Communities, founded in 1996, is non-profit organization that works to improve health and health care through partnerships to create change. Quality of care, access to health services and prevention are our major categories of work. Learn more at our website


Susan Gimilaro, Project Director
29 Commerce Drive
Bedford, NH  03110
[email protected]

Laura Hesse Moran, NH CATCH Kids Club Program Manager
Foundation for Healthy Communities
125 Airport Road
Concord, NH 03301
[email protected]