Action for Healthy Kids Chicago: Group Teaches Nutrition and Exercise

Action for Healthy Kids Chicago event April 2013 teaches nutrition and exercise to CPS kids at Harlan with volunteers.
Action for Healthy Kids Chicago:

Action for Healthy Kids Chicago: Last month Action for Healthy Kids ran an event called: Every Kid Healthy Week (April 22– 26) in Chicago. One of their activities included “the FoodTASTIC Family Health Fair” where participants learned about healthy food and exercise choices. It was held at Harlan Community Academy High School on Chicago’s South Side. Learn more about this Action for Healthy Kids Chicago event and how this non profit organization awards grant money to under served public and private schools nationwide.

Locally, the Illinois Action for Healthy Kids team gave over $300,000 in School Grants for Healthy Kids. Their goals are to:

  • Help 87 Illinois schools increase nutrition education.
  • Improve kids opportunities for physical activity.
  • Offer access to nutritious food.

Action for Healthy Kids is a strategic partner of the Chicago Public Schools. They gave 66 grants to Chicago Public Schools and 21 grants to other Illinois schools.

Action for Healthy Kids Chicago event April 2013 teaches nutrition and exercise to CPS kids at Harlan with volunteers.
An Action for Healthy Kids Chicago area volunteer team.

Each of these 87 Illinois schools must work to increase nutrition education for students. They have to expose students to new fruit and vegetable options and increase their opportunities for physical activity.

These requirements align nicely with the newly-passed Chicago Public Schools Local School Wellness and Healthy Snacks and Beverages policies. The partnership they have with CPS offers Action for Healthy Kids Chicago volunteers the opportunity to make a solid impact in city schools.

Action for Healthy Kids brings Nutrition & Exercise to Schools

Action for Healthy Kids is a national non profit in the U.S. working with thousands of schools to initiate strong wellness policies and programs. Volunteers from the organization come to under served public and private schools to help teach nutrition and exercise to kids. The National non-profit has a small staff of professionals who are experts in nutrition, physical fitness, and education. Action for Healthy Kids works with under-resourced schools that lack facilities, funds, and expertise. Through their volunteers they can offer students opportunities to eat right and be active at school so they are ready to learn.

Action for Healthy Kids wants kids to understand the importance of eating healthy and getting regular physical fitness.

Hannah Laughlin, M.P.H., is the Illinois State and National Field Coordinator of Action for Healthy Kids.

Laughlin says: “At Action for Healthy Kids we work with school administrators and teachers around the country to create healthier school environments so students can be healthy and thrive academically,” Laughlin continues,  “After all, as documented in our new report, The Learning Connection: What You Need to Know to Ensure Your Kids are Healthy and Ready to Learn, active, well-nourished kids do better academically.”

Action for Healthy Kids Chicago Team’s Harlan Event

Laughlin informed Health Family about all the work their Action for Healthy Kids Chicago team recently did this spring. She says the Illinois Action for Healthy Kids team is helping individual Chicago public schools build school wellness teams (which include parents and students when appropriate). These Action for Healthy Kids Chicago Public Schools teams create action plans for school wellness activities. They help administrators understand and comply with the new CPS policies, too. In addition, the Action for Healthy Kids Chicago team works specifically with Chicago schools. They help these schools organize and host family events that educate parents on the role healthy eating and physical activity plays in a child’s ability to learn.

FoodTASTIC Family Health Fair at Harlan big hit:

Drumsticks exercise for schools.
Volunteers Erica and Heidi do drumsticks exercises with Harlan school FoodTASTIC participants.

Laughlin says, “We recently hosted a FoodTASTIC Family Health Fair at Harlan Community Academy High School. The Harlan Student Wellness Team planned an event about nutrition education, physical education, healthy eating and physical activity for fellow student peers, families and community members. Everyone who attended seemed to really enjoy themselves while they were learning.”

Download free Activities from Action for Healthy Kids to use at Your School

Action for Healthy Kids has free programs like Game On! The Ultimate Wellness Challenge available for download from their web site. This will help any public or private school wanting to incorporate healthy eating and exercise routines with their students.

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