Illinois Action for Healthy Kids is a multi-sectoral coalition that includes a robust group of state and local partners that come together to work on community- and state-level nutrition and physical activity initiatives. IL AFHK is committed to increasing its work directly with schools and districts by building its membership and utilizing proven programs that generate excitement about healthy schools.
Happy summer! Stay tuned for events closer to the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.
Our Latest News
The HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms Webinar
On Thursday, October 23, 2014, Illinois Action for Healthy Kids co-hosted a webinar with the Division of Nutrition and Wellness Programs at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) that focused on the newly revised HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms criteria for 2014. The HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: LS) is a voluntary certification initiative recognizing those schools enrolled in Team Nutrition that have created healthier school environments through the promotion of nutrition and physical activity. See the slides, view the recording and check out the webinar resources handout below:
Thank you Summertime Stride 5K Participants!
For the second year in a row, the Mokena Community Park District in Mokena, Illinois selected Illinois Action for Healthy Kids as the benefactor of its 4th annual Summertime Stride 5K. The event was held on June 7, 2014 and it hosted close to 400 parents, kids and other community members who were enthusiastic to support IL AFHK's school wellness programs. Event goers who visited the AFHK booth were encouraged by AFHK's vision to have all kids develop the lifelong habits necessary to promote health and learning.
The Mokena Community Park District selected IL AFHK as a benefactor again because of the aligned mission between AFHK and the Mokena Community Park District to enhance the educational health of communities, especially children. The goal of the event was to create a fun and fitness friendly environment for Mokena residents to invite the start of summer and outdoor physical activity. "Everyone seemed to really enjoy the event and the opportunity to experience a nice, fitness-oriented experience with their family and friends," stated Erin Cortilet, Recreation Supervisor, Special Events & Trips, Mokena Community Park District.
The Summertime Stride 5K began with a warm up activity to get the participants stretched and ready to go for their run. The event included a USA Track and Field-certified course and transponder timed run, a fun walk, and kids' dashes. Medals were awarded to the top three participants in each age category. Participant's ages ranged from three to seventy years old, making the Summertime Stride 5k hit its mark to promote health and wellness for their entire community.
Enhancing Physical Education in Illinois
In summer 2012, the Illinois legislature and Governor Pat Quinn established an Enhance P.E. Task Force charged with promoting enhanced P.E. through strategies that align with the Strategic Plan and tasked with making recommendations on updating the K-12 learning standards for physical development and health. This task force recently released a state report that calls for new benchmarks and strategies to improve and increase physical education classes. Check out the report recommendations here.
Enhanced P.E. correlates directly to the health and well-being of students throughout their lives and has cognitive benefits, too, making students more receptive to learning. There is a significant body of research showing that children who are more physically active perform better in class and on standardized tests. Improving opportunities for physical activity is an imperative for improving our children’s academic achievement and their health.
Many Illinois school districts have already begun implementing enhanced P.E. in their schools. Learn how they did it below!
- Lake Bluff School District
- Unity Point Elementary School
- Hononegah High School
- Naperville Central High School
Team Healthy Kids
Team Healthy Kids is for anyone who wants kids to be healthy and wants to do something about it! Whether you want to run a marathon, host a local event, walk a 5K or simply support someone who is already signed up, this is the right place for you. Whatever you choose to do, your efforts will help schools provide good food and fitness programs for kids. Learn more about Team Healthy Kids here.
Our goals are to:
- Educate students on healthy living and how to make changes in their school to impact health.
- Train schools on school breakfast to increase participation and encourage schools to adapt alternative models.
- Recruit community members to become change agents for health in their school communities.
If you feel compelled to lend your voice to one of most important issues of our time, and would like to take that first step towards creating a healthier environment for our kids, join the Action for Healthy Kids community by taking the Every Kid Healthy Pledge on the left-hand side of the page.