Go for the Gold School Spotlight: Madero Middle School

September 29, 2010

On August 17, HSC helped kick off the Go for the Gold Campaign, a partnership between Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and HSC with the USDA Midwest and the Illinois State Board of Education to help Chicago schools meet the high standards for food, fitness and nutrition education set by the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge. The HealthierUS School Challenge is the program that First Lady Michelle Obama is urging schools to take on as part of her Let's Move initiative.

Today we are pleased to highlight Francisco I Madero Middle School for the exciting wellness initiatives already underway amongst students, teachers, administrators, staff and parents. Madero is getting ready to Go for the Gold!

by Rosa Ramirez, Go for the Gold Campaign Manager

Madero_6310 
Francisco I. Madero Middle School

At Madero Middle School, parents successfully organized a school wellness team to be responsible for the school-level implementation and evaluation of the district-wide wellness policy. Promoting important lessons about healthful food and nutrition to both parents and students at Madero Middle School became one of the goals of this motivated school wellness team.

When the parents from Madero Middle School approached principal Principal Jose Luis Illanes to approve the school sponsored after-school nutrition and healthy cooking classes,  he quickly agreed. In fact, he offered the unused culinary arts room — which was planned to be destroyed — to host the healthy cooking and nutrition workshop series. Students and parents explain that this program has helped them feel more connected to the school, get involved and be more conscious of the food choices they make. Madero School not only found how to reuse existing school space, but to use space in a way that promotes parent and student wellness.

The healthy cooking and nutrition series has become very popular. Today, these workshops are offered on a regular basis. Additionally, teachers and school staff became interested in these healthy workshops and school staff wellness initiatives began. Daily aerobics classes for teachers are offered at Madero School, helping teachers focus on their own health goals and model healthy behaviors for the students. Teachers then integrated active curriculum practices into their classroom.

Healthy communities require healthy schools. Madero is well on its way to Go for the Gold because so many members of the school community — parents, school staff, teachers, students and the principal — are actively involved in promoting and reinforcing messages about healthy eating and opportunities for physical activity. Kudos to everyone at Madero!

Plus: Check out our blog spotlight from Feb. 2010 about a special healthy Valentine celebration by parent volunteers at Madero school!