Members of the Goose Creek CISD board announced they are joining up with the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge in a move to make the City of Baytown a healthier place.
Matt Bolinger, Goose Creek’s executive director of Strategic Planning and Innovation, explained the challenge is promoted by H.E.B. Grocery, sponsored by ExxonMobil and has its foundation with Be Well Baytown, the health collaborative that is encouraging participation in the challenge.
“Our school district is one of the key organizations in the community that is leading this work,” Bolinger said. “Our goal is to provide strategies and generate positive, long-lasting changes in people’s lives.”
Bolinger said this is the district’s third year to participate.
“We are requesting your support and leadership not only as school board members but also as community leaders who are dedicated to our mission statement of developing the whole child,” Bolinger said. “We believe that mission statement extends to nutrition and physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.”
Priscilla Garza, the district’s coordinator of healthy community schools, said the challenge began Jan. 6 and ends March 1.
“You can sign up on behalf of your city and the school district to earn points for your community for every healthy action you submit,” Garza said.
Garza explained there are categories in the challenge throughout the state. This includes metropolitan-sized cities, large cities, mid-size cities, small cities or extra small cities with a tiny population size. It also includes categories for school districts. If anyone earns first place in the respective category, they will receive a cash prize for a health-related initiative.
Anyone signing up can perform a healthy action such as using exercise equipment, eating a healthy lunch or breakfast, eating a salad with lunch, body sculpting, drinking water, walking, or something health-related. Points are earned and added up March 1.
“We are in fourth place right now,” Garza said.
Baytown is behind Pharr, Texas City and Harlingen with 188,000 points as of Tuesday.
Dr. Ruth Rechis, director of the Be Well Communities at UT/MD Anderson Cancer Center, said anyone in Baytown can win prizes, or gift cards, with the challenge.
“If the city as a whole wins, it receives a small monetary gift,” Rechis said. “Any employer can do a pledge for their workplace, or watch a video and learn about one of the initiatives. Anybody can sign up for our community.”
Not only have school board members signed up, but also Lee College employees are actively participating. In addition, City of Baytown employees are participating in the challenge as well. This includes Baytown Parks and Recreation Director Scott Johnson, Councilwoman Laura Alvarado and Councilman Charles Johnson.
“The city’s involvement in the Be Well Baytown initiative is longstanding,” said Alice Jauregui, the city’s spokeswoman.
To register for the challenge, visit www.ittcommunitychallenge.com.