What is the purpose of MATCH?

MATCH empowers 7th grade students to make healthy choices for eating and physical activity through lessons and activities taught in Healthful Living, Science, Math, Language Arts and Social Studies. Through this approach, students have consistently seen an improvement in weight status.

How did the MATCH program start?

MATCH was started by Tim Hardison, a 7th grade science teacher at Williamston Middle School in Martin County, NC back in 2006 with lessons aligned to existing education standards and objectives. Mr. Hardison became aware Martin County had the shortest life expectancy in the state. With his background in health and exercise physiology, he used the body systems approach to teach students why it is important to take care of their bodies now at this key age to prevent chronic disease.

What does the MATCH Program entail?

MATCH has interdisciplinary lessons and activities to be taught throughout the school year that ultimately lead to behavior change and improved student health. There is a 2-3 week Kickoff unit with 2-3 lessons per subject to introduce MATCH and essential topics. While 30+ lessons are provided, about 20 lessons comprise the “core” curriculum. MATCH also includes an online data management system with access to lesson materials and real-time views of school level implementation data. Students, teachers and administrators all receive access to the MATCH software as part of the program.

Why does MATCH take place in the 7th grade?

MATCH takes place in 7th grade while students are 12-13 years old. This is the key age at which lifelong health behaviors are formed and the age group that is frequently left out of health initiatives. Empowering the students at this age to make healthy decisions now, allows them to carry this knowledge into the future and be used as the agent of change at home, with peers and in the community.

Who implements the MATCH program?

MATCH lessons are taught by 7th grade subject level teachers in courses as part of the existing school day. Lessons are rigorous, relevant and backwards designed to meet course standard objectives.

Is my school eligible to participate in MATCH?

Any school that has 7th graders is eligible to participate in MATCH. MATCH currently has funding models in place in North Carolina. Schools outside of North Carolina are still eligible, however further discussion will need to take place so please contact MATCH Wellness, Inc. expressing your interest.