by Rosa Ramirez
photos: Chef in the Classroom day, Oct. 2010
Happy holidays! As students across Chicago prepare for their winter break, we are taking a moment to reflect on an incredibly exciting year for the Go for the Gold campaign.
With the incredible support of parents, teachers, school leaders and advocates, Go for the Gold has made big strides this year and we are eager to accomplish even more in 2011. Since the launch of the Go for the Gold campaign, parents, principals, teachers, local chefs and many community partners have come together to support schools in meeting the HealthierUS School Challenge.
In 2010, Chicago Public Schools became the first major school district in the US to declare school menu nutrition standards that meet and exceed the gold standard of the HealthierUS School challenge. This means that more than 400,000 students are trying different fresh vegetables, eating whole grains and seeing other positive changes daily. With new food in place, schools are now focusing their efforts on meeting the high standards for nutrition education and physical activity outlined in the HealthierUS School Challenge.
Local chefs are taking their skills and love of food to the classroom to share healthy eating lessons with students. To read more about this initiative, click here. Teachers are learning about healthy classroom management practices, integrating nutrition education and fitness into classroom lessons. Parent groups are participating in school wellness teams, advocating for positive changes and learning new skills for healthy cooking at home.
Most recently, principals from 15 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) presented their applications for the HealthierUS Challenge, the cornerstone program of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to reverse childhood obesity.The presentation of HealthierUS School applications by Chicago school principals marks a milestone in the tireless work of community leaders and school administrators to achieve the high standards for school wellness that support such an application.
The national momentum for health and wellness — and this incredible enthusiasm at the local level — are invigorating. Thank you to everyone who is part of Go for the Gold!