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Michigan Schools to Receive “Restart Smart” Trainings and Whole Child Wellness Programming

Kids play a parachute game in PE class at a Lansing School

Students participate in a CATCH P.E. activity at Lyons Elementary in Lansing School District.

Michigan schools to get wellness program and virtual training on Health & PE post Covid-19, thanks to $252,000 in grants from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund

AUSTIN, TX, USA, August 20, 2020 / -- The Michigan Health Endowment Fund (Health Fund) awarded two grants totaling $252,000 to CATCH Global Foundation (CGF) to improve access to high-quality nutrition education and P.E. in Michigan schools. Studies show that physical activity, nutrition, and mindfulness are essential to youth mental and immune health, particularly during times of crisis.

"The Health Fund has long invested in schools as a place where kids can learn healthy habits that last a lifetime," said Laurie Solotorow, director of the Health Fund's Nutrition & Healthy Lifestyles program. "During this pandemic kids need healthy food and physical activity more than ever to keep growing strong and stay mentally healthy—yet it's harder for schools to deliver these critical services via alternative learning methods. We're proud to partner with CGF to help make sure Michigan's kids have the support they need."

The first grant, totaling $98,000, will address the need for direction on how to best carry out health and physical education safely post Covid-19. The “Restart Smart” training program provides specific guidance for K-8 educators, regardless of whether schools open fully, partially, or virtual-only this fall. Up to 200 schools, with a minimum free-and-reduced-lunch rate (FRL) of 50%, will each receive vouchers for six slots to the training offerings as well as a year of access to CATCH’s new video health and nutrition lessons designed for distance education.

Michigan schools interested in the Restart Smart training program can learn more, and those with at least 50% FRL can enroll to receive training vouchers, through the CATCH website at

The second grant of $154,000 was awarded as part of the Health Fund’s Nutrition & Healthy Lifestyles portfolio. This project, called “CATCH Michigan” is a 3-year initiative to expand CATCH’s evidence-based wellness program to school districts across the state in a coordinated and efficient manner while also building an infrastructure for continued expansion and sustainability in future years. CATCH Michigan will recruit approximately 36 schools in the first year of the grant, with more schools to be added in years 2 and 3 based on input from community implementation partners.

“In response to the challenges of teaching health in the Covid-19 era, schools around Michigan have made it clear that they need and want the resources that CATCH provides,” said CGF Founder and CEO Duncan Van Dusen. “We are excited to build on our previous work with the Health Fund and bring ‘Whole Child’ wellness programming to more schools and communities.”

The Health Fund partnered with CATCH Global Foundation in 2019 to bring Whole Child wellness programming to nine campuses in Lansing Public School District.

About CATCH Global Foundation
CATCH Global Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity founded in 2014. Our mission is to improve children’s health worldwide by developing, disseminating and sustaining the CATCH platform in collaboration with researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. The Foundation links underserved schools and communities to the resources necessary to create and sustain healthy change for future generations. For more information, visit

About the Michigan Health Endowment Fund
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan
residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and seniors. You
can find more information about the Health Fund at

Brooks Ballard
CATCH Global Foundation
+1 512-294-8666
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