Monthly Archives: February 2013

CLOCC Released a Blueprint – Now What?

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Adam Becker

by Adam Becker, PhD, MPH, Executive Director

On January 8, CLOCC released a Blueprint for Accelerating Progress in Childhood Obesity Prevention in Chicago: The Next Decade.  The blueprint was developed over a year-long period.  During that time, we engaged our local and national leadership and advisors to identify national best-practice and evidence-based approaches.  CLOCC staff identified existing strategies that were being implemented by our many partners or new strategies that would complement the variety of interventions already under way.  We explored the emerging ideas with consortium members through formal and informal conversations and at our September 2012 Quarterly Meeting.  All of this collective wisdom was then synthesized into the document, which we hope will serve as a “one-stop-shop” for obesity prevention recommendations. 

Although the document is intended as a guide for Chicago (because that’s where CLOCC staff and the majority of our partners have the most depth of experience) we are confident that many of the recommendations will be relevant for communities across Illinois and beyond.  The feedback we have received so far is very encouraging, and it is an indication that consortium partners will be using the blueprint in a variety of ways.  But, you might be wondering – “CLOCC released the blueprint…now what?”

CLOCC staff is now hard at work identifying the goals, objectives, and strategies that we will prioritize as an organization.  We plan to share these specific priorities with all of you very soon.  We hope that CLOCC partners will see their own priorities in the blueprint (or use it to identify new ones), and share their progress in accomplishing their goals.  In that spirit, we would like you to take a look at the recommendations at the end of each section of the blueprint and do any or all of the following things:

• Let us know what goals/objectives/strategies/tactics your organization is already doing or planning to do in the near future by sending this information to  We will add your plans to the list of current/ongoing efforts that are happening to support the goals and objectives in the blueprint and share our collective progress in advancing the blueprint recommendations.

• Let us know what additional goals/objectives/strategies/tactics your organization would be willing to take on in the future and whether or not you would take them on alone or would be interested in partnering with CLOCC staff and/or other consortium members by sending information and requests to  We will work with you to find partners to help you in your efforts. 

• Use the blueprint (the research, the recommendations, or both!) to support your organization’s decision-making and fundraising – and tell us how it helps you  by sending updates to  We will collect this information and share it with the consortium so others can get ideas on how they can use the blueprint in their own work. 

• Make your support of the blueprint and its recommendations public by allowing us to list you as an endorsing organization.  Send your endorsement to, and we will share the list on the CLOCC website and other materials.  We would love to include your organization there!

We hope that the release of the blueprint and the actions we all take can help to mobilize even further the childhood obesity prevention community in Chicago and beyond to achieve the goals and objectives we’ve presented, using the strategies and tactics we’ve identified, so collectively we can advance our work to create healthier children, families, and communities and truly accelerate the progress we’ve made so far.  We appreciate your consideration and look forward to working with you to make these recommendations realities!

Turning Wellness Policies into Action at a Healthy Teacher Network Workshop

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Rodney Tripplett

by Rodney Tripplett, School Programs Intern

On November 27, 2012, CLOCC’s Healthy Teacher Network hosted a workshop with the theme Wellness Policies into Action: Making Healthy Students Happen that was attended by teachers, counselors, and school nurses.  It began with a presentation of the highlights of the new Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Local School Wellness and Healthy Snack and Beverage policies from Annie Lionberger, CPS Senior Manager of Student Health and Wellness. This provided an opportunity for participants to gain a better understanding of the key requirements and guidelines of the new wellness policies. Participants also engaged in breakout sessions that focused on key components outlined in the wellness policy such as forming wellness teams, implementing activities to engage all students during recess, and integrating nutrition education into the school day. 

To provide tools for addressing the nutrition education requirement of the new CPS wellness policies, Rebecca Calendo, CLOCC Health Educator, facilitated a session focused on a nutrition and food access curriculum called Cultivating Change. This curriculum includes a series of lesson plans for middle school grades to develop students’ awareness of their food choices as well as food access and health issues that impact their communities. In the session, participants learned project ideas, recipes, and activities to launch a unit on food and health. 

Likewise, Urban Initiatives led an engaging session and dialogue on implementing activities to get students moving during recess. Play with Potential, a recess program developed by Urban Initiatives, includes games that are adaptable to a variety of spaces including outdoor fields, classrooms, and multi-use areas. Program Manager April Lillstrom encouraged school staff to engage all students in physical activity and emphasized the importance of recess as being safe, fun, and active as well as an opportunity to facilitate positive youth development. At the end of the session, participants experienced a sample of Play with Potential activities, gaining a better sense of how recess can be improved at their respective schools. 

Overall feedback on the workshop was very positive.  Participants particularly enjoyed the breakout sesson on how to initiate wellness councils. This included a success story from Kristen Janko, adult facilitator for Young Organizers Leading Others (YOLO) at Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy. YOLO tackles issues students want to address in the school and broader community. It began when students decided to raise funds to expand the school’s fitness center and add new equipment. YOLO has raised over $3,000 from fundraising efforts which include school health awareness dances, bake sales, and walk-a-thons. In the breakout, Kristen explained successes and challenges as well as tips for other schools wishing to replicate their work. Kristen strongly encouraged staff struggling to start a wellness council to involve youth, be open to their ideas, gain support from faculty and parents, and ensure student wellness groups are inclusive and accountable. 

As at past workshops, participants networked at the Resource Fair with a variety of community organizations that promote student wellness, healthy eating and physical activity. Twenty-one organizations participated – the largest number to date! Educators from the Lower West Side, North Lawndale, and Chicago Lawn/West Edison were among the most represented at the workshop, with many first time as well as returning staff.

The Healthy Teacher Network fall workshop provided tools to put the wellness policies into action, and we look forward to hearing how they help attendees to create healthier students throughout the city of Chicago.