VITAHLS Timeline

Year Five
exercise video screenshot

2015-2016 School Year

  • Naugatuck Public Schools joins the VITAHLS initiative.
  • Physical activity videos are produced by a combined team of Derby and Seymour high school students, led by their physical education teachers, to help teachers incorporate student exercise into the school day.
  • Healthy cooking classes are offered to 70 children from Naugatuck Valley communities at the 2016 YMCA Summer Day Camp, with sponsorship from the PRC and YMCA.
Year Four
ABC for Fitness participants

2014-2015 School Year

  • Your Road to Health nutrition program for middle school students is revised and expanded based on pilot test results.
  • VITAHLS Family Cookbook is produced containing recipes from the Annual Healthy Cooking Challenge.
  • Student focus groups take place in California and Colorado schools, with guidance from the PRC, to elicit ideas from students and teachers to promote physical activity in secondary schools, with results used to guide physical activity promotion in VITAHLS districts as well.
  • Student wellness club is formed at Derby High School, with a PE teacher serving as advisor, and works on projects to promote health and wellness throughout the school community.
  • Couch to 5 K training is provided to Seymour school staff through a partnership between the PRC and the Valley YMCA.
Year Three

2013-2014 School Year

  • VITAHLS newsletter and social media pages (Facebook, Twitter) are launched to help families stay informed about VITAHLS programs and information.
  • NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is piloted and evaluated in the Ansonia Public Schools to help students “trade up” for foods with more health benefits.
  • Your Road to Health nutrition program for middle school students is first developed and pilot tested in Seymour and Shelton schools.
  • School gardens are created at six schools in Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton, with the help of Massaro Farms and FoodCorps, and funding from the PRC.
  • Annual Healthy Cooking Challenge takes place for the first time in 4 school districts to encourage middle school students to create healthy and delicious meals.
  • Student focus groups take place in Ansonia and Shelton schools and the Boys & Girls Club to elicit students’ opinions of videos designed to promote healthy eating.
  • Teacher nutrition workshop focusing on skill-building and a cooking demo/tasting is offered at Seymour Middle School for school staff from Seymour and other VITAHLS school districts.
Year Two
ABC for Fitness participants

2012-2013 School Year

  • NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is piloted in Derby High School to help students “trade up” for foods with more health benefits.
  • Massaro Community Farm in Woodbridge begins to sponsor field trips and healthy food demonstrations for students in Ansonia schools.
  • Cooking Matters program is piloted in fifth grade classrooms in Derby, giving students the opportunity to learn to prepare healthful foods.
  • Healthy dessert cooking competition is hosted by Griffin Hospital featuring culinary arts students from Emmett O’Brien Technical High School.
  • VITAHLS fundraising events are sponsored by the Jones Family Farm and Griffin Hospital.
Year One
ABC for Fitness participants

2011-2012 School Year

  • VITHALS initiative begins with invitations to Lower Naugatuck Valley districts/schools to work together to reduce childhood obesity and improve learning, and commitments from 4 school districts (Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Shelton) and Emmett O'Brien Technical High School.
  • Fall Kickoff event is held at Ansonia High School for Valley educators and other community members. Featured presenters are PRC Director Dr. David Katz and special guests (Superintendent of Schools, Youth Development Director) from the Independence School District in Missouri.
  • Nutrition Detectives program is taught for the first time in elementary schools, showing students how to read nutrition labels on food products to make better food choices.
  • ABC for Fitness Program is offered for the first time in elementary schools, providing classroom teachers with ideas for brief “bursts” of physical activity to break up long sit times and energize students.