Announcing Change for Good!

July 24, 2013

As we celebrate the past three years of accomplishments made through our Go for the Gold campaign, we look ahead to our newest initiative: Change for Good.

Three years ago, HSC, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and dozens of partners galvanized citywide momentum around the First Lady’s challenge to address childhood obesity. Together, we supported schools in meeting the HealthierUS School Challenge, a USDA recognition program that rewards schools for meeting high standards for school food, nutrition education and physical activity.

As of today, 119 schools have achieved this recognition, and an additional 97 schools have made major health-promoting changes. More than 90,000 students in more than 40 percent of CPS elementary schools are benefiting from significant improvements to school food, nutrition education, physical activity and physical education. And all CPS students are benefiting from the district-wide policy changes that now make these improvements a citywide standard.

Last week, more than 250 stakeholders came together to celebrate the successes of Go for the Gold and launch Change for Good, HSC’s new initiative to make permanent and lasting change that will have a significant positive impact on the long term health and success of all Chicago children, and benefit the entire city. Change for Good has four key areas: healthy food, physical activity, healthy classrooms and green schoolyards.  

Our ambitious goals include :

  • Working with CPS to make even more improvements to the school food program and expand the district’s farm-to-school program;
  • Improving P.E. and supporting the district’s longer term goal of bringing daily P.E. to all schools;
  • Providing leadership and skills training to principals, teachers, parents and school nurses, and supporting the district’s increased focus on professional development;
  • And, working in partnership with Openlands to bring green schoolyards that support play, outdoor education and community engagement to every corner of the city.

“You’ve heard about Go for the Gold and the success of this three year effort,” Healthy Schools Campaign President and CEO Rochelle Davis told the crowd at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois last Wednesday. “Despite this significant progress, our work is not done. Our work will not be finished until all children are offered, and actually eat and enjoy, a fresh and healthy school breakfast and lunch, have daily physical education that allows them to focus and learn, have the opportunity for active play and outdoor learning in schoolyards that are centers of community activity, and learn in a school with principals, teachers, school nurses and parents who care about and promote student health and wellness.”

Change for Good will engage Chicago Public Schools, parents, teachers, principals, school nurses, students and partners at the local, state and national levels. Last week’s event was co-hosted by Karen Atwood, President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and Terry Mazany, President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, co-chairs of Healthy Schools Campaign’s Civic and Business Advisory Committee.