by Brittney Johnson
In conjunction with Physical Fitness and Sports month in May, Utah State University received a grant to launch their “Healthy Choices Create Better Health” campaign. Three counties were selected to design and implement a health-based challenge targeting elementary age children and their parents. Kane County was one of these selected counties. Brittney Johnson, the Create Better Health Ambassador for USU Kane Extension, developed a countywide challenge to promote this campaign.
This challenge consisted of all Kane County elementary schools and their parents. The Healthy Kane County Coalition donated $1,000 to the winning school to purchase new sports equipment. An additional $750 was donated to divide amongst the remaining schools. Each student received a pedometer and tracking sheet to track their steps for 20 days. Parents were encouraged to participate by watching three nutrition education videos, which were previously recorded and uploaded to the Kane 4H YouTube channel. These videos provided parents with three code words. These words were added to the student’s tracking sheets for additional points. Forms were collected and the schools’ total steps and parent codes were summed and divided by total student body count.
More than 27 million steps were recorded over the 20-day challenge. Big Water Elementary came out on top, with students averaging 53,570 steps. They were awarded with the $1,000 grand prize, a golden cup trophy, and a free pool pass for each participating student. Second place was awarded to Valley Elementary where students averaged 43,006 steps. Kanab Elementary finished third averaging 37,001 steps.
Significant participation was achieved and plans for the Healthy School Challenge Competition for 2022 have commenced. The overlying goal is to support parents and schools in nutrition education and fitness implementation. Brittney promotes healthy living by teaching the importance of eating a balanced diet with whole, less processed foods through the USDA’s MyPlate model. MyPlate promotes sustainable health habits that encourage moderation and portion control.
For healthy tips, tricks and recipes visit our website: Createbetterhealthkane.org or follow us on Instagram @Createbetterhealthkane.