Community Challenge a Great Way to Start the New Year on a Healthier Path
By: Kathy Barroso
Chief Executive Officer
Galveston County Health District
Are you looking for ways to eat healthier and be more active in 2018? Like most of us, one of your goals going into a new year probably centers on health. Even with great intentions, motivation to stay on track can fade with each new week. The IT’S TIME TEXAS Community Challenge is a great way to stay on a healthier path while also helping your community compete for grant money and bragging rights!
The concept is simple. Individuals, schools and community leaders earn points for cities and towns by participating in healthy activities between January 8 and March 4, 2018. The online-based challenge is fun, easy and healthy!
To get started, go to www.ittcommunitychallenge.com to register and select your community. This quick step will earn you an easy 500 points to kick off the challenge.
Some of the other ways for individuals to earn points include tracking physical activity and weight, watching a video about healthy living, hosting community events and taking healthy selfies. The selfies, worth 200 points each, simply show you participating in healthy activities or eating healthy!
Your community leaders also play a huge role in the effort. The mayor’s pledge to participate is worth 10,000 points while the city council version earns 2,500 points. There are several more ways for city representatives to earn points, including creating a mayor’s challenge video, hosting community events and establishing a health collaborative.
School representatives can earn points for their city AND school district! Thousands of points are available for school boards, principals and teachers who sign pledges to participate. Healthy lesson plans and staff activities also earn points.
There are also points up for grabs for businesses, organizations and faith-based representatives. Pledges, healthy activities and events are the primary ways for these groups to earn points.
I mentioned bragging rights because it’s a huge part of the idea behind the challenge. Who wouldn’t want their community to be well-represented to the county and rest of the state?
Texas City dominated other Galveston County cities in the 2017 challenge and finished third in the state in the mid-size category. With nearly 1.2 million points, the city was leaps and bounds ahead of its nearest county competitor, Galveston, which had just over 40,000 points.
Whether you’re participating as an individual or represent a city, school, organization or faith-based group, we are here to help! Check out www.gchd.org/challenge for more information about how to participate and contact information for assistance. While there, sign up to receive our Community Challenge tips and learn about healthy eating and exercise.
During the challenge, make our Facebook page a regular stop for weekly point updates by community and school.
Sign-up and start earning points at www.ittcommunitychallenge.com. It’s time, Galveston County!