Action for Healthy Kids is the nation’s leading non-profit and largest volunteer network fighting childhood obesity and undernourishment by partnering with schools to improve nutrition and physical activity to help our kids learn to eat right, be active every day, and be ready to learn.
The Illinois Action for Healthy Kids Team 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
Expanding School Breakfast
General Mills Foodservice joins forces with National Dairy Council®'s as the 2014 Breakfast Sponsor, supporting grants to expand school breakfast. Addressing the important role the breakfast meal plays in providing nutrient-rich foods and beverages to students, these grants are designed to increase student participation by serving breakfast outside the cafeteria in creative ways.
Schools that meet the following criteria may apply for a grant to start a new breakfast program or improve an existing one. Whether it is breakfast in the classroom, grab 'n' go breakfast, second chance breakfast after first class period, or expand breakfast offerings to include dairy options such as yogurt to serve breakfast to more students, the students and the school meal programs will benefit.
1. Participation in National School Breakfast Program
2. Have at least 500 students
3. Have a breakfast ADP of less than 40% (room for improvement)
4. Enroll in Fuel Up to Play 60
Schools can apply for a Fuel Up™ 2014 Breakfast: Click here to learn more about the Fuel Up! Breakfast Grants.
Deadline for applications is August 29, 2014.
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.
The Learning Connection
Have you heard about Action for Healthy Kids' latest report, The Learning Connection: What You Need to Know to Ensure Your Kids are Healthy and Ready to Learn, which outlines why healthy kids learn better? This tool can help schools, parents and community members across Illinois learn how to engage local schools to ensure that school wellness programs are being implemented so that kids are equipped for success.
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.
- Christmas in July 5K, 10K, 6-Hr, 12-Hr, 24-Hr Festive Race - July 18-19, 2014
- Volunteer at the Action for Healthy Kids Office - Ongoing
- Action for Healthy Kids Translator Needed - Summer 2014
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.