Fit to Learn Plants Seeds for Healthy Classroom Habits

April 20, 2015

We’re recruiting for Fit to Learn summer sessions now.

Greene Elementary School joined last year the ranks of Chicago public schools that have school gardens. Since then, the school staff has been working hard to integrate the garden into all facets of the school experience.

“Having a school garden is important to us because it’s another opportunity to expose kids to things they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to,” said Meredith Swanson, Greene’s instructional coach. “Learning doesn’t  just take place in a classroom. Incorporating the garden into learning really provides the real-life experiences our students might not otherwise get.”

In early April, as part of a Healthy Schools Campaign’s Fit to Learn professional development program, a group of teachers and principals gathered at Greene to learn more about the school’s success with its school garden as well as to get tips from Drew Thomas, the school garden coordinator at Chicago Public Schools.

Fit to Learn is a free program offered by HSC for Chicago educators to help integrate nutrition and fitness into everyday classroom subjects, while meeting state educational standards. The goal of Fit to Learn is to make healthy habits a routine part of how kids learn. The program offers resources to help schools meet their physical activity goals, help students learn about good nutrition through fun and creative activities, increase staff knowledge on personal health and wellness, and more!

We’re recruiting now for our summer Fit to Learn session, which starts August. Registration is now open, but Space is limited, so teachers are encouraged to sign up right away. Each month, from September to April, we offer after-school booster sessions to share best practices and to help teachers implement Fit to Learn lessons into their classrooms. Booster sessions range from incorporating yoga in the classroom to learning how to start or enhance a school garden. Participating teachers can get CPDUs for attending Fit to Learn boosters and workshops.