Letter: Teaching healthy habits a community effort

To the Editor:

Most adults need some kind of support to stay fit and healthy. This support may take the form of a Fit Bracelet, a Weight Watchers’ meeting or an exercise buddy. The DeKalb School District 428 Wellness Committee needs the support of DeKalb County’s resources to keep our students and staff fit and healthy. 

To combat childhood obesity, District 428 works with the county’s health-minded powerhouses: Kishwaukee Health System, NIU’s physical education/health, dietetics, and public health departments, the DeKalb County Health Department, the YMCA and Live Healthy DeKalb County. It takes all of these agencies working together to provide a Coordinated Approach To Children’s Health (CATCH). CATCH teaches about making healthy food choices, increasing exercise and reducing screen time. We have provided classroom lessons to our pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students with positive results.  

A coordinated approach with families and food service is also included in our efforts.  We invite families out to the YMCA for free nights of playing and learning together.  We also provide nutrition and fitness programs at school events and on-site at our district’s food pantry, Barb Food Mart. In the cafeterias, we’ve added fruit and vegetable bars at all of our elementary schools.  

District 428 is committed to health and wellness, but we look to our community’s wonderful agencies that have this same mission.  We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their support.

Cristy Meyer

Principal, Jefferson Elementary School, DeKalb