NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Fit Youth Initiative (FYI) of Tuscarawas County invites all area fourth and fifth graders to participate in its annual T-shirt design contest. One winning design entry will be chosen to be featured on T-shirts used as an incentive for participants in FYI's 10th annual community summer walking program.

For 10 years, the Summer Walking Program has promoted family fitness. This year we encourage families to "Blaze a Trail" as they get outdoors to explore Tuscarawas County's wonderful trails and green spaces. A family kick-off event will be held at the Norma Johnson Center's Red Barn on May 1. Special walking events this year will center on Tuscarawas County's trails. The summer walking program will run from May 1 to Aug. 1.

Contest details and entry forms are being sent to all area elementary schools. Only original artwork created by the student will be accepted. Home schooled 4th and 5th graders are also welcome to submit entries. Entry forms may be obtained at the Tuscarawas County office of Ohio State University Extension, 419 16th St. SW, New Philadelphia.

Deadline for entries is April 11. The entry form may also be found online at, click on "Fit Youth Initiative."

Organized by OSU Extension in Tuscarawas County, FYI is a coalition that was formed in 2003 to address the childhood overweight concern in our community. FYI has 45 members, including educators, physicians, nurses, dietitians, and parents, who represent the area schools and hospitals, Tuscarawas County Health Department, WIC, Dairy Farmers Association, East Central Ohio Educational Service Center, HARCATUS Head Start, Norma Johnson Center, YMCA, Super Fitness, Tuscarawas County Park Department, and the Tuscarawas Valley Family Farm Market. FYI's mission is to improve the health of children and their families through the promotion of healthy weight and fitness. The coalition is a partner with the Healthy Tusc Taskforce.

For information about the upcoming summer walking program, watch the newspaper or call the Extension office at 330-339-2337.