5-2-1-0 in SCHOOLS

By Lauren Kollauf on Wednesday, January 12, 2022

CM students

Collins Elementary School students participate in a taste testing in their classroom.

5-2-1-0 schools receive grants to make #HealthyChociesCount

Schools in the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! network were recently awarded funds to help implement projects that support healthy eating and active living for their students. The $1,000 sub-grants, funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education, were awarded to 18 schools across Iowa. 

To be eligible, each school had to:

  • Sign-up as a 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! Registered Site
  • Participate in the National School Lunch Program
  • View the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! webinar that provided information on school wellness policy requirements, physical activity and education in schools

Eligible schools completed a sub-grant application form to describe the proposed activities they would implement with the funding and how their proposed activity would align with at least one of the 10 5-2-1-0 Strategies for Success.

Here's how a few of the awardee schools used their funds: 

Community Christian School (Fort Dodge)

CC water

Community Christian School used the grant to purchase and install a water bottle filling station in order to decrease intake of sugary beverages.

East Marshall Community School District

East Marshall Elementary used the grant to purchase brain break supplies such as indoor hopscotch, indoor balancing turtles and ring toss to incorporate physical activity into the classroom. The school also purchased staff wellness supplies to increase staff physical activity. With the help of community partners, East Marshall also purchased physical activity supplies and educational materials to make a kit for students to take home and learn with their families.

Gilbert Community School District

paingGilbert Intermediate School used the grant to hire a playground/concrete artist to paint interactive games on sidewalks and other concrete spaces to provide an alternative to traditional sports to encourage all kids to be active during recess.

Collins Maxwell Community School District

Collins Elementary School used the grant to purchase healthy foods and small kitchen supplies to conduct taste testing events and provide healthy snacks for classroom celebrations. The school also purchased garden supplies and seeds to increase the size and the amount of produce provided by the school garden. In addition, they purchased activity cards to be used for brain break activities and games to be used for outdoor play in P.E. class.

Harlan Community School District


Harlan used the grant to purchase materials and supplies to build four teaching gardens to create an outdoor classroom for 3rd–5th grade students. The school also purchased a blender bike to provide taste testing events and educational opportunities. In addition, Harlan purchased prizes such as water bottles, wellness center passes, healthy snacks, and coloring books for students who participated in their monthly school wellness BINGO game.

LaSalle Catholic Schools (Cedar Rapids)

LaSalle Middle School used the grant to purchase a Gaga Ball Pit kit and building supplies to provide an alternative activity at recess for students who may not be interested in traditional sport activities.

RELATED: Sign-up as a 5-2-1-0 Registered Site

New Hampton Community School District

New Hampton Elementary School used the grant to purchase "Phonics Get Physical" books to use in their physical education classes to enhance literacy and encourage physical fitness. The books were presented to students in P.E. class and students were allowed to check the books out from the school’s library. 

Sioux Center Christian School

Sioux Center Christian School used the grant to purchase a sensory path that they installed in one of their main hallways. It allows students and staff to become more physically active as they travel to and from their classrooms.

RELATED: 5-2-1-0 Resources for K-12 Schools

St. Joseph School (Des Moines)

St. Joseph School used the grant to purchase healthy snacks and supplies for Family Wellness Night. The Family Wellness Night was organized by their student wellness leadership group and featured physical activities, educational resources about nutrition, healthy snacks and a bag that provided ideas for physical activity and healthy meal ideas at home.

Waterloo Community School District


Irving Elementary School used the grant to purchase supplies to host a 5K color run at school. They were able to purchase T-shirts, color run powder, bottled water and healthy snacks for their 5K. Irving Elementary also purchased curriculum materials to provide teachers and students the supplies needed to engage in activities that incorporate the body and mind. They taught students and staff how to take better care of themselves both physically and mentally.

Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District

Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School used the grant to purchase local fruits and vegetables for taste testing and nutrition education opportunities, plus purchase garden supplies to revitalize their school garden. They also purchased supplies, foods, and bags to provide a virtual cooking club experience for the 5th grade students. Students took the recipe ingredients and written and video instructions to prepare the menu item at home. 

5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! 

52105-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! is a nationally recognized and evidence-based prevention framework to promote healthy habits. The goal is to increase physical activity and healthy eating through policy and environmental change. 5-2-1-0 focuses on the importance of four simple daily health habits:

  • 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables
  • 2 hours or less of screen time (television, computer, video games, phones, etc.)
  • 1 hour or more of physical activity
  • 0 (or reduce) sugar-sweetened beverages - drink more water!

For more information about 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count!, and to access free resources for your community, visit IowaHealthiestState.com/5210.