by Brittany Wright, HSC media and outreach specialist
Earlier this summer, I was honored to join a small group of committed parents at a Cook County Board of Commissioners meeting. Seventh District Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Board President Toni Preckwinkle invited Parents United for Healthy Schools to the meeting to be formally recognized in a board resolution.
Parents United for Healthy Schools members with Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (left) and Board President Toni Preckwinkle (right) after receiving recognition through a board resolution
Commissioner Garcia introduced the resolution, co-sponsored by President Preckwinkle, to recognize the parent-led group. He read:
Parents United was formed out of concern for skyrocketing rates of childhood obesity in Chicago and the growing health disparities in our city. They engage parents in training on the knowledge and skills to develop strategies to organize school wellness teams to support health promoting changes in schools. They’ve been active in advocating for recess, speaking up for healthy school food and supporting changes for student health and wellness at individual schools.
They began championing the reinstitution of recess and because of efforts such as theirs, it will now be required in all Chicago Public Schools at the elementary level in 2012. Parents United for Healthy Schools began championing breakfast in the classroom and because of effort such as theirs, it was instituted at Chicago Public Schools at the elementary level in 2011.
Now therefore be it resolved that this board of commissioners does hereby recognize the efforts of Parents United for Healthy Schools in promoting health awareness among parents and school age children.
To our group’s surprise and delight, Commissioner Garcia’s colleague Commissioner Larry Suffredin (13th District), moved to have the entire board co-sponsor the resolution. It passed unanimously.
Healthy School Campaign vice president of urban affairs Guillermo Gomez spoke on behalf of the Parents United group. “On behalf of the parents who are here this morning, it is a great honor to be here and receive this great acknowledgement," he said. "I would like to thank Commissioner Garcia and President Preckwinkle for sharing this great honor with us. We look forward to continuing to create healthy schools throughout Chicago.”
He added, “It goes back to the parents’ commitment. They’re very committed in not only fighting childhood obesity, but also in just having healthy families and healthy children.”
It is an honor to see these dedicated parents be recognized at the city level and amazing to see the tangible changes parents are creating through collaborative efforts in their schools and communities.
Kudos to Parents United on your extraordinary work!
Plus: Be sure to check out the new Parents United video! At the end, watch Commissioner Garcia read the resolution.