FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Academy for Global Citizenship, a Chicago Public School, is First in the Midwest to Receive the Distinguished USDA Nutrition Award
(CHICAGO, Ill.) – August 31, 2010 – The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is the first school in both Chicago and the Midwest to receive the Gold with Distinction Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of its HealthierUS School Challenge.
In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Let’s Move!, incorporating the HealthierUS School Challenge into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of children. The challenge includes standards for school meals, nutrition education and physical activity. To receive the Gold with Distinction Award, schools must serve a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They must also provide students with nutrition education and 150 minutes of weekly physical activity.
AGC is a new Chicago Public Charter School, founded in 2008, with an ardent commitment to environmental sustainability and child nutrition. It is internationally recognized for its model green school and wellness initiatives. AGC’s holistic approach incorporates daily yoga, environmental education, wellness instruction, and organic gardening into the school day.
“A strong component of our mission is to empower our students and families to develop healthy and sustainable lifestyles for themselves, our community and our planet,” explained Founder and Executive Director Sarah Elizabeth Ippel. “Providing our students with fresh, nutritionally balanced breakfasts and lunches in addition to ample opportunities for physical activity is critical to their academic success.”
“We are delighted to partner with ACG to deliver an innovative program that provides us with lessons that can be extended to schools throughout Chicago”, said Bob Bloomer, Regional Vice President for Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality. “Through our work with AGC, we are learning how to expand the offerings of healthier foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains in ways that are appealing to students.”
Nearly 80 percent of Academy’s students are eligible for free and reduced-priced meals.
“I’m thrilled to see that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has honored the Academy for Global Citizenship with the first HealthierUS Challenge Gold with Distinction Award in Chicago,” said Louise Esaian, Logistics Officer for Chicago Public Schools. “In addition to AGC in Illinois, schools in just four other states across the nation have attained this honor. Starting this fall, all meals served in Chicago Public Schools will exceed the nutrition standards at the Gold level.”
Along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Chicago-based, Healthy Schools Campaign, Chicago Public Schools has launched the Go for the Gold Campaign, a city-wide initiative to ensure that all students have access to healthy food, quality nutrition education and physical activity. This Chicago effort is part of a national movement, pioneered by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign, to reverse childhood obesity within a generation.
First Lady Michelle Obama has been invited to the award ceremony that will held this fall; details will be announced at a later date.
About Academy for Global Citizenship
The Academy for Global Citizenship is a new Chicago Public Elementary School that opened in 2008, on the city’s underserved Southwest side. Its mission is to empower children to become active global citizens by positively impacting their community and the world beyond. AGC was founded with an ardent commitment to environmental sustainability and is internationally recognized for its model green school initiatives, including daily organic breakfast and lunch, a 5 kW solar installation, a schoolyard habitat and vegetable garden, rain barrels, composting, yoga, nutrition education, a faculty wellness program, walking school bus and sustainability curriculum. Our most recent addition was a green roof chicken coop, housing three rescued chickens, next to the school’s wind turbine.