October 17, 2011
Fourteen Chicago Public Schools (CPS) schools were honored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the White House today for their commitment to health and wellness amongst their students. They joined schools from across the nation for their participation in the HealthierUS Schools Challenge, one component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign that aims to raise awareness around issues such as physical activity and nutrition.
“It is a great accomplishment for these schools to be acknowledged for all of their hard work to make their environment a healthy one,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “Wellness and health is an important component for learning and we will work to have more schools certified in the future.”
For the past year, Chicago Public Schools, working in partnership with Healthy Schools Campaign, has encouraged schools across the city to pursue certification as part of the HealthierUS School Challenge. To do so, schools must actively promote healthy eating and nutrition education, physical activity and wellness as part of their regular programs.
In the first year, more than 20 CPS schools applied for certification in the Challenge’s Go for the Gold campaign and 19 were recognized at one of several achievement levels. The District’s goal is to have 100 schools certified by 2013.
Schools which were able to send representatives to Washington today included: Air Force Academy High School, Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts, Jose De Diego Elementary Community Academy, Academy for Global Citizenship, Nathaniel Greene Elementary School, Rufus M. Hitch Elementary School, Cyrus McCormick Elementary School, Namaste Charter Elementary School, Passages Charter Elementary School, Manuel Perez Elementary School, Ana Roque de Duprey Elementary School, Irma C. Ruiz Elementary School, John A. Walsh Elementary School and Eli Whitney Elementary School.
Other schools that have earned Go for the Gold certification, but were not able to send representatives, include: John C. Burroughs Elementary School, Hawthorne Elementary Scholastic Academy, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Francisco Madero Elementary School, and Sharon Christa McAuliffe Elementary School.
Prior to the appearance of First Lady Obama at the event, Walsh School student Alex Roman read an essay he wrote about how participating in the HealthierUS School Challenge has raised his awareness of health and wellness.
At a June 7th event at Walsh School attended by CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, who has elevated health and wellness issues within the District, all of these schools were recognized for their efforts in the HealthierUS School Challenge.
CPS school representatives of the schools attended a luncheon at the U.S. Department of Education before heading to the White House reception. Approximately 3,000 school representatives from across the U.S. were expected at the White House for the event.
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.