September , 2018

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Nearly 100 Illinois schools earn HealthierUS School Challenge certification 


SPRINGFIELD, IL — Educators and health experts from across the state discussed  updated nutrition standards and innovative physical education strategies Thursday during the fifth annual Illinois School Wellness and Recognition Conference in Springfield. To date, 94 Illinois schools have earned HealthierUS School Challenge certification by adopting federal nutrition standards for food served in schools, providing nutrition education and increasing opportunities for physical activity.

“Conferences such as this one are critical as we try to reverse the tide of childhood obesity and guide students toward healthy lifestyles that allow them to succeed in the classroom and contribute to society,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “As a state and a nation, we still have a long way to go, but we also have made strides in terms of raising awareness and making changes for a healthier generation.”

The day-long conference, sponsored by Action for Healthy Kids Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Nutrition Education and Training Program, featured a variety of sessions, including a workshop on implementing the new USDA School Nutrition Standards in the 2012-13 school year. The standards provide age-appropriate calorie limits, larger servings of vegetables and fruits, a wider variety of vegetables, fat-free or one-percent milk and more whole grains.

Some tips shared for compliance with the new standards include:


  • Incorporate whole-grain rich foods into student favorites to increase acceptability.
  • Add a salad bar with an array of vegetables.
  • Add legumes, such as beans, to a variety of dishes, including soups, salads, sides and entrees.
  • Involve students as part of the menu planning process by conducting taste tests.
  • Partner with a local chef and/or farm to introduce new healthy recipes and locally-grown produce.

Cornell University research specialist Adam Brumberg offered a keynote presentation about increasing healthy food selection and consumption in school cafeterias.  Brumberg is the Deputy Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab where research has driven the creation of the Smarter Lunch Rooms Movement, and the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (BEN)—two programs devoted to research concerning children’s health.

Other sessions focused on the Illinois Farm-to-School program and increasing physical activity during the school day as well as new standards for the HealthierUS School Challenge.  Photos from the conference are available upon request.

Schools that have met the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge are recognized with Gold of Distinction, Gold, Silver, or Bronze-level certification. Award-winning Illinois schools are listed below.


Illinois Award Winners

Belvidere Community School District #100
·         Lincoln Elementary School (Silver)
Carpentersville CUSD 300
  • Algonquin Lakes Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Dundee Highlands Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Eastview Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Gary D. Wright Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Gilberts Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Golfview Elementary School (Gold Award of Distinction)
  • Hampshire Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Kenneth E. Neubert Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Lake in the Hills Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Liberty Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Lincoln Prairie Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Meadowdale Elementary School (Gold)
  • Parkview Elementary School (Gold)
  • Perry Elementary School (Gold)
  • Sleepy Hollow Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Westfield Community School (Bronze)
Chicago Public Schools District 299
  • Abraham Lincoln Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Academy for Global Citizenship School (Gold Award of Distinction)
  • Adlai Ewing Stevenson Elementary School (Silver)
  • Air Force Academy High School (Gold)
  • Ana Roque de Duprey Elementary School (Gold)
  • Andrew Jackson Language Academy (Bronze)
  • Arthur A. Libby Elementary School (Silver)
  • Ashburn Elementary School (Silver)
  • Asian Human Services/Passages Charter School (Gold)
  • Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter School (Gold)
  • Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language (Silver)
  • Charles Earle Elementary School (Gold)
  • Charles R. Darwin School (Silver)

·         Coonley Elementary School (Bronze)

·         Cyrus H. McCormick Elementary School (Gold)

  • Douglass Taylor Elementary School (Gold)
  • Edgar Allan Poe Elementary Classical School (Bronze)
  • Edward Everett Elementary School (Silver)
  • Eli Whitney Elementary School (Silver)
  • Frederic Chopin Elementary School (Gold)
  • Friedrich Jahn World Language School (Silver)
  • Gale Community Academy (Bronze)
  • Hawthorne Elementary Scholastic Academy (Bronze)
  • Irma C. Ruiz Elementary School (Gold)
  • John C. Burroughs Elementary School (Gold)
  • Jackie Robinson Literature and Writing Elementary School (Gold)
  • Johnson School of Excellence (Gold)
  • John Walsh Elementary School (Gold)
  • Jonathan Burr Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Jose De Diego Elementary Community Academy (Gold)
  • LaSalle Language Academy (Bronze)
  • Louis Pasteur Elementary School (Silver)
  • Madero Middle School (Gold)
  • Manuel Perez Jr. Elementary School (Gold)
  • Matthew A. Henson Elementary School (Gold)
  • McAuliffe School (Silver)
  • Miriam G. Canter Middle School (Gold)
  • Morton School of Excellence (Gold)
  • Myra Bradwell School of Excellence (Silver)
  • Namaste Charter School (Gold Award of Distinction)
  • Nathanael Greene Elementary School (Gold)
  • Nathan S. Davis Elementary School (Silver)
  • Peabody Elementary School (Silver)
  • Richard J. Daley Elementary Academy (Silver)
  • Rufus M. Hitch Elementary School (Bronze)
  • South Loop Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Stone Scholastic Academy Elementary School (Bronze)
Chester-East Lincoln CCSD 61
·         Chester-East Lincoln Elementary School (Silver)
Evanston/Skokie School District 65
  • Dawes Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Dewey Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Kingsley Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Lincoln Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Lincolnwood Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Oakton Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Orrington Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Laboratory School (Bronze)
  • Bessie Rhodes Magnet School (Bronze)
  • Walker Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Washington Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Willard Elementary School (Bronze)
Fairview School District 72
  • Fairview South School (Gold Award of Distinction )
Lombard District 44
  • William Hammerschmidt Elementary School (Bronze)
Ridgeview CUSD #19
·         Ridgeview Elementary School (Silver)
South Berwyn D100
  • Emerson Elementary School (Silver)
  • Irving Elementary School (Silver)

St. Charles CUSD 303

  • Anderson Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Bell-Graham Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Corron Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Davis Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Ferson Creek Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Fox Ridge Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Lincoln Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Munhall Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Norton Creek Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Richmond Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Wasco Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Wild Rose Elementary School (Bronze)


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