Congratulations to Armour School for achieving the Gold award in the HealthierUS School Challenge! Armour joins public schools across Chicago in meeting the challenge through Go for the Gold, a partnership of Chicago Public Schools and Healthy Schools Campaign that supports schools in meeting high standards for healthy food, physical activity and nutrition education. Armour met the challenge with the support of Healthy Places, an initiative of Healthy Chicago. This post is part of a series celebrating Go for the Gold schools.
At Armour Elementary School, students, parents, teachers and staff are working harder than ever on key areas of health and wellness. Students are moving in classrooms thanks to teachers’ use of “energizers” during classes and advisory periods. Because of a partnership with Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the school has implemented a comprehensive strength and conditioning program during portions of physical education classes. Plus students now have access to an expanded sports program for grades two through four thanks to extra funding from Fuel Up to Play 60 and After-School All-Stars.
The school represents an excellent example of community partners, staff, teachers and parents all working together with enthusiasm and purpose. Physical Education teacher Patrick Smith said, “I was impressed with the incredible involvement and the willingness of the staff at Armour to coach teams and play with students all year long.”
Key changes in nutrition education included cooking classes for parents and nutrition classes for students. Parents were asked to to contribute healthy or non-food treats to classroom celebrations.
Smith identified a few other crucial elements of the school’s success: Leadership from their principal, Shelley Cordova, support from the Asian Health Coalition and coordination from school counselor Kelly Wingate.
One of the greatest lessons, however, was learning that the entire school could successfully collaborate to achieve a big goal. “We proved to ourselves that we can complete a program,” Smith said. “Now when other programs or challenges arise, we understand what our strengths are in a given area.”
Thanks to Armour School for speaking with us about this great accomplishment!
Armour School’s achievement in Go for the Gold was supported by Healthy Places, an initiative of Healthy Chicago. Healthy Places is a collaborative effort between the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative, Cooperative Agreement Number 1U58DP002376‐01. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors/organizers and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.