Healthy Plainville launches challenge for town’s 150th anniversary

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

Plainville Youth Services and Healthy Plainville have rolled out “Let’s Get Healthy Challenge 150,” in honor of the town’s 150th anniversary, which will be celebrated on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22.

“We wanted to do something to promote our goal of physical activity and encouraging families to be physically active—but especially during the summer,” said Roberta Brown, director of Plainville Youth Services. “We decided that, instead of focusing on a two- or four-hour game or event in the park that day, that we would try to do something that would keep kids and families active all summer…or thinking about it anyway.”

The Let’s Get Healthy Challenge will run from Sunday, July 14 to Monday, Sept. 16. Participants begin by picking up a challenge form from a number of locations: Plainville Youth Services at 50 Whiting St.; the municipal center at 1 Central Square; the public library at 56 E. Main St., or the town pool at Norton Park.

From there, participants will attempt to be active for 150 minutes (about two and a half hours) each week for the next nine weeks. All completed forms should then be returned to Plainville Youth Services, where participants will be entered into a drawing to win a gift certificate to Dick’s Sporting Goods, valued at $75.

“The challenge is to get kids moving and thinking about how much they’re actually active each week,” said Brown, adding that she hoped the activity would continue after the end of the challenge. “The goal is to get people who are not active to think consciously about putting down the phone or whatever they’re doing and getting outdoors—or indoors if it has to be. We’d prefer people to be outdoors because overall it’s better for you. But just get moving—that’s extremely important—and stay moving. It’s a challenge, but it’s also supposed to spark a lifelong habit.”

Healthy Plainville began in 2010, when the YWCA received grant funds from the Casey Foundation. Brown explained that the YMCAs of America started an initiative called “Pioneering Healthier Communities,” with the goal of preventing childhood obesity and new cases of type two diabetes.

There was a period of time where Healthy Plainville “kind of laid low,” said Brown, but three years ago there was a resurgence, and Brown—with the help of Linda Coveny—took over the initiative through Plainville youth services and the Plainville coalition for positive youth development.

Healthy Plainville’s mission states that their goal is “to promote a healthy community for youth and families in Plainville by increasing awareness of healthy food choices, promoting the benefits of and opportunities for physical activity, and eliminating the use of harmful substances.”

Healthy Plainville promotes a healthy community through a strategy called “5-2-1-0”—five or more fruits and vegetables each day, two hours of less of recreational screen time, one hour or more of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks.

If you have questions about the Let’s Get Healthy Challenge 150 program, or the work being done through Healthy Plainville, contact Brown at (860) 793-0221, ext. 261, or brownr@plainvilleschools.org.