WALK Newsletter #12 – December 1st, 2021

W – Wow: WAT! 25 Challenge Participation Update

In our past e-newsletters, we have shared some of the Walk Across Texas! history of the past 25 years and highlighted how and why the program was developed. We shared a little bit about how Flossie Jasper came up with the idea and held the first Walk Across Texas! event in 1996 in Harrison County. The idea caught on and grew until it became a statewide initiative when Alice Kirk bridged the gap to coordinate many county programs under one umbrella. As she moved on to other programs, Mike Lopez was assigned to carry the torch in 2017. He worked with superstars Dr. Stephen GreenDr. Mark Faries, and Brian Faries to keep the fire going. Together, they ensured the program is effective, based on a solid foundation of research, and user friendly for participants from an online perspective…not an easy task to do!

They have worked diligently to create and maintain Howdy Health, the centralized website and database, not just for Walk Across Texas!, but for a myriad of Extension Family and Community Health programs. This platform, launched in September 2018, allows participants to select from a menu of program offerings. Each unique program design uses a theoretical approach to target key health related behaviors. Collectively, Howdy Health has reached over 125,000 participants. This online centralized platform supports program registration, individualized participant monitoring and data collection, and evaluations with an on-demand report system. The Howdy Health platform also has a full-service Help Desk ticket system. So, while people across the state are having fun with WAT! enjoying the benefits, rewards, and ease of participation, the Howdy Health team – which now includes some additional amazing team members – are working behind the scenes to make the program awesome in so many ways

We know you’ve been carrying a WAT! torch too; doing your best, putting in your miles, making your team look good! Just as a single candle lights the darkness, your light brightens your team and the whole #WAT25 Challenge! With close to 10,000 people participating in the #WAT25 Challenge together, we can say together we have a beacon of light radiating with the joy of being physically active and lighting the way for healthier lives far into the future.     

Here is what our many points of light have done collectively:

WAT! Adult teams have added up 739,137.46 miles, with 4,625 participants and 781 teams, this includes 103 leagues and 103 counties across Texas participating. 

WAT! Youth teams have added up 62,361.6 miles, with 4,796 participants and 118 teams, this includes 25 leaguesand 37 counties across Texas participating.

The glow from the pride of these accomplishments is enough to warm all of Texas during an ice storm… well…. okay, that might be a bit much…but really, we are so proud of you and so very honored you have been a part of the #WAT25 Challenge!

 Congratulations to the winners of the random drawing from those who are on fire and have improved their mileage from one week to the next ...

WAT! Adult – Mini Challenge #11 Winners



Team Name


                 Kim D.                 

Easy Steppers


Veronica R.

Master Clothing Volunteers


Leslie D.



Vickie K.

Yoe Winning Team


Rose A.

Hidalgo County Walker Group 4


Kayla J.

The Street Walkers


Nadine F.


Van Zandt

Debbie W.

WAFOWASL Walkers#2


William P.

Here Comes The Run


Sarah N.

The Young and the Breathless

And congratulations to the winners of the raffle drawing for the wrap up mini challenge this past week who are especially hot

WAT! Adult – Wrap Up #4 Winners



Team Name


Rae W.


San Patricio

Tracey B.

AOG Fitness


Rebecca H.

Max's Marvels


Kate S.

We Have Harte


Nikki C.


And the youth program is burning bright with our third round of Texas Youth on the Move award winners! 

The November Texas Youth on the Move winners are:

WAT! Youth – Texas Youth on the Move Award – November 2021

Team Captain

Team Name

Cheryl W.

Carnell-2nd Gr.

George S.

K3/K$ Green Geckos

George S.

10/11 Boys Navy Blue Jack Rabbits

 All Winners – be on the lookout for an email about how to claim your prize! 

Be sure to check out our previous newsletters to see if you or a team member has won: https://walkacrosstexas.org/news

A - Action: Mini Challenge #12:

WAT! Adult – Mini Challenge #12: As most of our WAT! 25 Challenge participants have completed the program, our twelfth mini challenge is on the WAT! 25 Challenge itself! All entries will be included in a drawing for a $10 dollar gift card to Amazon. To be eligible for the drawing, participants must be registered in the WAT! 25 Challenge – WAT! Adult program. 

Here is the link to submit: WAT! 25 Challenge - Mini - Challenge #12

The submission must be received by Tuesday, December 7th by 11:59 PM to be entered.

WAT! Adult – Wrap Up Mini Challenge #5: Once you complete the WAT! Adult program, and submit final mileage, there is one last step to close out the program! The wrap-up form helps us to understand the effectiveness of the program and where we might need to make improvements!  

To be entered, submit the WAT! Adult program wrap-up form in your Howdy Health account and you will be eligible for 5 randomly selected winners of a $10 dollar gift card to Amazon for each of our remaining WAT! 25 Challenge WALK newsletters! Thank you for helping us tell our story and share in your successes!  

WAT! Youth – December Mini Challenge: This is our last monthly recognition called the Texas Youth on the Move awards. To enter for the month of December, WAT! Youth teams must log mileage from December 1st through December 31st. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Schools, Youth Organizations and Small Group teams (20 team members or less). Team captains will receive an Amazon gift card to use in support of their youth program through a random drawing. The final round of winners will be recognized in the final WAT! 25 Challenge newsletter on January 12th, 2022. Teams must register to join the WAT! 25 Challenge – WAT! Youth program, and log mileage, by Friday, December 31st by 11:59 PM to be entered.

L – Learn:

Now that you’ve taken more steps (pun intended 😊) to get physically active with Walk Across Texas!, you might want to encourage someone else to do the same. Most of us struggle to get enough physical activity from time to time, so we can relate to others in the same struggle. If someone you care about is having a hard time getting active, you may be able to help. Here are some tips from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion to get you started: Help a Loved One Get More Active: Quick tips.

WAT! Youth Tip: Looking for a great recognition for your leagues completing the WAT! Youth program? Check out a few reward ideas from our Rewards Tip Sheet!

Here are some great ideas:

  • WAT! finale celebration rally
  • WAT! school trophy, ribbons, or certificates 
  • WAT! champion banner
  • WAT! mileage map
  • Fun or glow Run
  • Any WAT! swag item
  • Jump rope
  • Campus shout-out recognition 
  • Chalk

K – Keep the Fire Going!

After you’ve finished you #WAT25 journey, you may be wanting to keep the fire going by doing more. Fortunately, the Howdy Health website has more!! 

Walk Across Texas! Adult is an 8-week program designed to establish the habit of regular physical activity. You can participate in WAT! as many times as you want. Often county agents will host special local program challenge targeted during a specific time of year in their area, providing extra support and incentives for participation. But the WAT! record-keeping system is open all the time and can be used as often as you would like. Your team could do consecutive challenges. Or your group/organization. Leagues could do multiple challenges each year. 

Walk Across Texas! Youth in an 8-week program designed to establish the habit of regular physical activity in youth. It’s a great way for schools to add to their curriculum or for youth groups to focus on getting fit. These can be done independently or in conjunction with a WAT! Adult program challenge. WAT! Youth can also be done at any time and as many times as wanted. There is a boat load of kid-friendly resources that teachers/leaders can use to enhance the experience. 

Walk Through Texas History is a 4-week program designed to establish the habit of regular physical activity while learning the rich history of Texas. Like the traditional WAT! experience with team involvement, this is a shortened version provides the added benefit of learning more about Texas history along the way. 

Live 100 Challenge is a 100-day challenge designed to increase physical activity. This program is individually based, rather than using a team format. The Live 100 Challenge helps you discover what it takes to increase your physical activity, overcome challenges to consistency, and develop strategies to stay motivated as you adopt a healthier lifestyle. With the Live 100 app, you will be able to keep track of your PAI score daily, recognize plateaus in your physical activity, and progress through weekly educational ‘Tip-Task’ videos that help you learn, and practice key strategies known to enhance behavior change. That goal is that over 100 days, you will maintain a weekly score of 100 PAI, reach a new sense of fitness autonomy, and strive towards decreasing your risk of heart disease. Live 100 Challenge is a standalone program and does not require a Howdy Health user account, but there are program details on the Howdy Health website.

10 – 10,000 Change Challenge is another individually based challenge, encouraging participants to make it through 4 stages in 100 days to help propel individuals toward an independent, sustainable healthy lifestyle. We often hear what we should do — get so many steps or eat so many servings of fruits and vegetables each day, but much less on how to do it during our own specific, hectic lives. But, if we are honest, hearing the recommendations, such as 7,500 steps or eating 7 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day can be a bit overwhelming. Also, a common problem we face when trying to reach the full recommendations too quickly, is that we miss out on the opportunity to step-by-step build a strong foundation, and learn several key strategies and abilities, of which can only be learned in the early stages of behavior change. To help, we created the 10-10,000 Change Challenge, a simple web app, with the goal to make it through all 4 stages in 100 days that will not only help give you a kickstart, but help propel you toward an independent, sustainable healthy lifestyle.

WALK Newsletter #11 – November 24th, 2021
WALK Newsletter #13 – December 8th, 2021

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