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Illinois High School Makes the “Learning Connection”

Addison Trail High School
Addison, Illinois

Addison Trail High School in Addison, Illinois, has always made the health of students a priority, and thanks to a $1,000 Game On grant from Action for Healthy Kids, made possible by FORWARD, they were able to build on their physical activity and nutrition initiatives during the 2017-2018 school year.

Addison Trail already had some heart rate monitors for students to use during PE, and with the number of low-income students enrolled at the school continuing to rise, Aaron Lenaghan, Director of Technology, Teaching and Learning, wanted to ensure there wasn’t a technology barrier preventing any students from achieving their fitness goals.

“Our grant allowed us to purchase additional heart rate monitors for students to use in their PE classes to gauge and record their exercise routines,” he said.

The monitors give students the opportunity to better understand and track the intensity of their workouts, ensuring they are reaching moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for optimal health improvement.

In addition to focusing on the importance of being active, Addison Trail continued to emphasize healthy eating habits. Through their ongoing nutrition curriculum, which targets making healthy choices and maintaining productive eating habits, the school was able to increase students’ knowledge and consumption of healthy foods and beverages, improve attitudes around healthy foods and beverages, and improve the overall school nutrition environment.

Throughout the year, Addison Trail hosted a variety of physical activity and nutrition initiatives to support their efforts and to create fun, engaging opportunities for students. In observance of Every Kid Healthy Week in April, for example, the school held several events and activities along with a wellness fair. Lenaghan said the fair focused on providing students with access to local resources including nutritionists, fitness centers, healthy lifestyle support groups, and a stress management support group.

Addison Trail believes in the “learning connection,” having seen firsthand the impact that physical activity and good nutrition can have on students’ academic achievement. With the help of Action for Healthy Kids and FORWARD, the school was able to take their health and wellness program to the next level – and they plan to continue to build on that success in the future.