MOUNT VERNON — The Crunch Out awards banquet was held Saturday at the Ohio Eastern Star’s Glenn A. Gallagher Centre. The banquet was held to honor the fourth-graders who won the Crunch Out “How I Am Living Healthy” essay contest.
The kids who participated in the six-week Crunch Out events were asked as a part of their activities to keep a daily journal. The journal was an aspect of the program that helped the kids develop their writing abilities in addition to helping them live more healthy lifestyles.
“We teach kids early healthy habits to get them on the right track early and prevent adult obesity and all of the health issues that might be associated with that,” said Elizabeth Doolittle, program director for United Way of Knox County. “We teach healthy habits and good lifestyle choices so the kids can live long, long lives.”
Regan Williams of Centerburg was the overall essay contest winner.
Other winners included Emma Hall, Twin Oak; Trinity Philips, Dan Emmett; Rhyan Williams, East Knox; Maycee Samples, Danville; JoAnn Odonker, St. Vincent; Carter Budd, Fredericktown; Zachary Busenburg, Pleasant Street; Phoebe Mussard, Columbia; Braelyn Jones, Wiggin Street. The family asked of the East Elementary winner asked that the child remain anonymous.
The Crunch Out event, which was started by United Way in 2013, includes participation from all 11 Knox County elementary schools.
Over 4,000 children and their families have participated since the program started. This year, 621 students participated in the event.
An integral part of the program is the concept of the elementary school students doing the “5, 2, 1, 0” exercise and nutrition program. The daily program for the students included eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, having healthy screen time and limiting the screen time (which could include watching television or the use of a smartphone or tablet) to only two hours, one hour of any physical activity (including sports or taking a walk), and 0 sugary drinks for the student. The “5, 2, 1, 0” method and the daily journaling that went along with the students using the method was helpful for both the student’s healthy lifestyle and writing abilities.
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