Tyler ISD was one of three school districts in Texas recently honored with a 2013 Award for Excellence in Texas School Health – Award of Achievement for the District’s implementation of the “5-2-1-0 Goes to School” health program, in partnership with the Fit City Coalition.

The award is presented to districts or schools that are implementing a current, or planning for a new, program to improve the lifelong health of students, staff and the school community.

The central message of the “5-2-1-0 Goes to School” program involves the emphasis of active living behaviors and healthy dietary choices that reach families where they learn, live, work, and play. The 5-2-1-0 program is a nationally recognized, evidence-based childhood obesity prevention program that started in the state of Maine. Each of the numbers corresponds to a healthy lifestyle behavior. The “5” encourages the daily consumption of five fruits and vegetables, the “2” represents daily sedentary screen time should be limited to less than two hours, the “1” equates to the accumulation of 60 minutes or one hour of daily physical activity, and the “0” promotes the importance of avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages and liquids that contain high amounts of sugar; water and low-fat milk are the preferred drinking options.

The District integrated the 5-2-1-0 program into the current Tyler ISD health education curriculum as a supplement to the lesson plans of the physical education and health teachers.

“We are very appreciative to all the PE and health teachers, as well as District and campus administrators, who aided in the success of this program,” said Angela Duitch, coordinator of TV/Video Operations for Tyler ISD. “We can’t thank the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) enough for giving their stamp of approval and support to creating a collaborative approach among staff, parents and community members.”

The 5-2-1-0 program subcommittee included Fit City Coalition members Angela Duitch, program coordinator, Dr. Valerie Smith, local pediatrician, Dr. Barbara Huggins, professor emeritus at UT Health Northeast, and Stephanie Taylor, the public information officer and director of community outreach for the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

The annual, state-wide award program, celebrating its 24th year, is sponsored by the Texas Department of State Health Services School Health Program and funded by the Texas Health Institute and the Texas Pediatric Society Foundation.