Harlingen CISD, city take home top prize in health challenge

 

BY CRISTINA M. GARCIA  | HCISD STAFF

 

For the fourth year in a row, Harlingen CISD came in first among school districts its size in the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge.

It’s Time Texas, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging healthy lifestyles, holds the challenge each year to encourage communities to get moving, eat healthy and consume water – all in an effort to combat obesity and obesity-related disease. 

“We lead the nation in diabetes and obesity in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Harlingen CISD Interim Wellness Director Sandra Flinn. “These are things we don’t want to be number one in. We could be number one in this challenge, and you don’t have to run a marathon to be healthy. The goal is to change the trajectory of those number one trends to another number one trend.”

The challenge includes school districts and cities from across the state.

The city of Harlingen and Harlingen CISD both won the challenge in the friendly competition among similarly sized cities and school districts.

Additionally, Harlingen CISD scored more points than any other school districts in the state, attaining a higher score than larger school districts.

“This is great for the community because our initiatives in wellness affect our students every day, and wellness affects productivity,” Flinn said. “Movement helps people.”

This year, the challenge resulted in participants losing 8,341 pounds cumulatively, according to the non-profit organization’s website. The challenge produced more than 12.6 million minutes of exercise.

Harlingen CISD scored 3.6 million points by logging their healthy choices on the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge’s website. This year’s number is up from last year’s 1.5 million points.

Participants in the challenge include school district students, staff as well as Harlingen CISD Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos.

“We are super proud to take home top honors in the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge once again,” Dr. Cavazos said. “This pushes us, as a community, to continue striving to maintain positive exercise habits, which as a result ensures we are all healthy and community ready.”

The non-profit awarded a $500 grant to Harlingen CISD for its win.