San Jon Elementary students earn health awards

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Special to QCS

At a San Jon Schools award ceremony on Wednesday, May 11, 14 elementary school students received medals for successfully completing a program that asked them to eat healthier, be more active and drink more water.

The medalists were Gunner Mackey, Cobi Mackey, Karlee Elliott, Kirksey Smith, Paxton Smith, July Lafferty, Logan Lafferty, Mamie Martinez, Mathew Martinez, Jordan Guitterez, Kirill Gates, Tristan Read and Jonathon Urrea
Randi Mackey, the school nurse, presented the medals at the ceremony.

The program the students completed is called 5.2.1.O.  That’s for five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, spending two hours or less a day watching TV or playing video games, spending an hour a day being active, and drinking lots of water instead of sugary drinks like soda, Mackey said.

For three weeks beginning April 4, she said, San Jon Schools students from kindergarten through fourth grade tracked their 5.2.1.O performance daily, as certified by their parents.  All participants received certificates.

The 5.2.1.O program is sponsored by Healthy Kids New Mexico, a program of the New Mexico Department of Health’s Public Health Division.

San Jon Schools Superintendent Colin Taylor was satisfied with the results, even though he said he would have liked more students to complete the program.

“We planted seeds to show these kids they need to take care of their bodies,” he said.  “This will have impact as they grow older and make other decisions that affect their health.”

Taylor said he has seen “a lot of unhealthy eating” and too much processed food can lead to health problems, including cancer.

The 5.2.1.O program is designed to help instill healthy eating habits and more physical activity among young children as a way of combatting childhood obesity, according to program literature.

Three weeks is the usual time it takes to instill new routines, like healthier eating and getting more exercise, program literature said.

Overweight and obesity have decreased among New Mexico children over the past two years, but one-third of third-graders are still overweight or obese, according to program documents.  Overweight and obesity can lead to diabetes and heart problems in adulthood.

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