HARLINGEN — Hula hoop tic-tac-toe had Olivia Aranda, 6, running back and forth until she decided to watch the annual school mascot dance-off.
And these were just a few of the many activities happening all around Olivia.
The seventh annual Harlingen School District Health and Wellness Kickoff event was held Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the J. Lewis Boggus Stadium.
“I think it’s really strong for you, and you can get more healthy. I really like to run and play,” Olivia said about attending the event.
Actually, she has been attending since she was born with her mother Susan Aranda, who is a coach at Lee H. Means Elementary Fine Arts Academy.
Besides visiting with health and wellness vendors, attendees were able to participate in a walk or run around the stadium, soccer drills and football games.
While the event promotes wellness it also reminded community attendees to sign up for the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge.
It is an eight-week competition that mobilizes schools, businesses, organizations and community members toward the goal of transforming the community’s health.
According to Sandra Flinn, HCISD Aquatics Coordinator and Chair of the Mayor’s Wellness Council known as Healthy Harlingen, the Harlingen School District has won four years in a row.
“We have been the school district winner for our size school district in the state of Texas for four years running. On top of that we’ve actually scored more points in the school district in the state,” Flinn said.
“When HCISD gets behind something that’s good we go all the way,” she said.
Flinn said the collaboration between the school district and Healthy Harlingen is to assist the city in getting ideas to help the community become more health aware.
Yadira Alvarado, 32, and her daughter Delilah, 12, had never attended before. Her daughter is part of the Pantherettes dance team from Moises Vela Middle School, which encouraged her to stay.
The mother and daughter both tried a martial arts exercise and punched a training pad as they were being instructed.
“I had never done anything like that, the punching and kicking. This is fun and a lot of exercise, even for myself. I think I released a lot of built up stress,” Alvarado said.
Parents and children were scattered around the stadium as they continued their walk or run. A few signed up for the It’s Time Texas Challenge.
Monique Yanez said she signed up after learning about it.
“I’ve been here four times, and I love that the community comes together to support healthy living,” she said.
“I am excited about signing up. You get a pamphlet about how to get points, but I hadn’t heard about until today. I think this is a great event for the kids and parents as well,” Yanez said.