Milestones and New Initiatives in the Weeks Ahead!

  • May 3, 2012

This week, HSC is kicking off one of our busiest and most exciting months yet! The weeks ahead are filled with dynamic events and new opportunities built on work for healthy food and fitness in schools. We are excited to share these milestones and new initiatives!

Health in Mind: Improving Education through Wellness · May 9
We believe that healthy students are better prepared to learn and that schools must address health and wellness in order for all kids to achieve. On May 9, we will bring this message to national leaders as we present policy recommendations to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius at a special event in Washington, D.C. Our nation is facing a dual crisis: a growing achievement gap and children who for the first time in history may live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.These recommendations focus on simple, common-sense steps initiated at the federal level that can help schools leverage the power of health and wellness to boost student achievement. Learn more about Health in Mind here.
* If you are interested in learning more about the event, please contact Alex Schaible by email or at 312-419-1810.

Congressional Briefing on Serving Food Raised without Antibiotics in School Lunch · May 10
The high school culinary students who placed first in HSC’s Cooking up Change Chicago healthy cooking contest wowed judges with a lunch featuring freshly-baked chicken drumsticks. That chicken was raised without antibiotics on Amish farms in nearby Indiana, like much of the chicken now on the menu in Chicago Public Schools. On May 10, the students will take part in a Congressional briefing on serving food raised without antibiotics in school lunch. That day, the lunch they created will be served for lunch in the U.S. House of Representatives cafeteria! Learn more here.
* Send a letter inviting your senators and representative to attend the briefing and try the students’  award-winning school lunch!

Parents United for Healthy Schools Annual Summit · May 17
The parent leaders of HSC’s Parents United for Healthy Schools/Padres Unidos para Escuelas Saludables will have much to celebrate and much work ahead as they gather for the sixth annual Parent Summit for Healthy Schools. This coalition, which brings together parents from Chicago’s Latino and African-American communities to speak up for school wellness as a way to address health disparities, has achieved new victories for children’s health. Parent-led wellness teams have initiated school-level changes across the city and successfully advocated for important district policies, including bringing recess and Breakfast in the Classroom to the city’s elementary schools. Parents are now looking ahead to supporting schools in making wellness a priority as the city transitions to a longer school day. Learn more about Parents United here.
* For live updates from the parent summit, follow HSC on Twitter and keep an eye out for #ParentsUnited on May 17.

Fit to Learn Graduation · May 18
Teachers who have completed HSC’s year-long Fit to Learn professional development program will celebrate their graduation at a special event bringing together principals and district leaders to share ideas and strategies for boosting wellness in schools. Fit to Learn focuses on practical approaches to making health and wellness a regular part of the classroom experience. Teachers gain the skills to fit healthy habits into daily learning—integrating nutrition education and fitness into classroom lessons that meet learning standards in math, reading, science, social studies, art and music. Learn more here.
* Bring healthy new ideas to your classroom! Check out activities and stories from Fit to Learn teachers on HSC’s blog.

Cooking up Change National Finals · May 21
Across the country, student chefs are cooking up change! These teams of high school culinary students have impressed judges and guests at local competitions and are now getting ready to compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C. Teams are challenged to create a healthy school meal that meets high nutrition standards on a tight budget and with limited ingredients. Teams from Chicago, Denver, Jacksonville, Santa Ana, St. Louis and Winston-Salem have secured their spots in the national finals. Which team will take home the trophy? Learn more here.
* Send your compliments to the chefs! Cheer on the teams with a tweet using #CookingupChange or a message on HSC’s Facebook page.

Cooking up Change Congressional Briefing · May 22
The day after the cooking contest, the student chefs will bring their healthy school meals to Congress! A student-designed lunch will be served in the U.S. House of Representatives cafeteria and at a Congressional briefing on the future of school food. At this briefing, the student chefs will share their experience and speak about why healthy school food matters. Learn more here.
* Send a letter inviting your senators and representative to attend the briefing and try the students’  award-winning school lunches!

Go for the Gold in Food and Fitness Celebration · May 30
At this celebration, we’ll recognize the second cadre of schools to meet the rigorous standards of the HealthierUS School Challenge through Go for the Gold, HSC’s partnership with Chicago Public Schools to support schools in meeting the high challenge’s high standards for healthy school food, physical activity and nutrition education. Through Go for the Gold, Chicago is answering First Lady Michelle Obama’s call to action! To date, 45 CPS schools have been recognized as HealthierUS Schools, an additional 30+ schools have submitted their applications, and dozens more are making changes. Learn more here.
* Check out the practical resources and tip sheets focused on physical activity, nutrition education and more from Go for the Gold!

We’re thrilled to share these exciting events! For updates throughout the month, check out HSC’s blog, Twitter and Facebook page!