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The Illinois State Board of Education hosts an annual School Wellness Conference. School nutrition professionals, physical education teachers, school nurses, school social workers, and others dedicated to the well-being of Illinois schoolchildren are encouraged to utilize these free resources.

 2021 Webinars and Recorded Trainings

 Visit Our Exhibitor Tables

Action for Healthy Kids is a non-profit organization bridging the gap between families and schools in order to prepare kids to be healthy in both mind and body. Our three key areas of intervention are nutrition education, physical activity, and social emotional learning.

Resource Highlights:

Contact: Amber Henley, Project Coordinator, ahenley@actionforhealthykids.org, (312) 753-5069

Alliance for a Healthier Generation is a leading children's health organization that advances equitable whole child health. Driven by their passion to ensure that every mind, every body, and every young person is healthy and ready to succeed, their work has reached over 30 million young people across the country.

Resource Highlights:

  • Whole Child, Whole Family Health: Kohl's Healthy at Home is a hub of proven tips, activities, and resources designed for parents and caregivers – so the healthy choice is the easiest choice for families.
  • Youth Voice Town Hall - Vaping, Tobacco and Health Equity: Vaping is not only a public health challenge but an equity issue. In recognition of National Minority Health Month, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is hosting a 45-minute virtual Town Hall, featuring youth activists and adult allies working to reduce tobacco use and vaping. (Thursday, April 29, 12-12:45 p.m. CST; click here to register)
  • Increasing Student and Staff Resilience: The Resilience in School Environments (RISE) Initiative, presented by Healthier Generation and Kaiser Permanente, helps schools create safe and supportive learning environments by developing policies and practices that improve the social-emotional health of all students and staff.

Contact: Julia Goetten, Program Manager, Project Coordinator, julia.goetten@healthiergeneration.org, (618) 315-4545

Candor Health Education is a nonprofit organization that educates students, their trusted adults and communities on the topics of drug and sex education. They provide science-based information in a safe, engaging environment so students gain age-appropriate knowledge which prepares them to make informed decisions that positively impact their health.

Resources Highlights:

Contact: Laura Schwartz, Business Development Manager, lschwartz@candorhealthed.org, (630) 325-1900, ext. 212

Chestnut provides substance use treatment, mental health counseling, primary health care, credit counseling, and prevention education to adults and adolescents throughout Illinois and in Jefferson County, MO.

Chicago Run is a nonprofit organization that provides innovative and inclusive running and fitness programs for children and youth in schools, community centers, and the juvenile justice system. They enhance the health and wellbeing of Chicago's youth while developing critical social and emotional skills for healthy development.

Resource Highlights:

Contact: Veronica Tovar, Program Manager, veronica@chicagorun.org, (773) 961-8470

GOTR is a positive youth development program that teaches girls how to set goals, be independent thinkers, and live a healthy lifestyle. Our curriculum addresses the social, emotional, and physical aspects of girl's development, and combines this with uplifting training for a non-competitive 5K event. They believe that every girl should be given the tools to embrace who she is and define who she wants to be.

The mission of the Illinois Department of Public Health's Injury and Violence Prevention Program (IVPP) is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling injury and disability. This is achieved by promoting safety through education, information, intervention, policy development, and systems change. IVPP staff partner with communities to provide quality services to ensure the safety of Illinois residents at home, at school, on the move, at work and in the community. IVPP oversees two statewide private, public partnerships – the Illinois Partnership for Safety and Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance.

Resource Highlights:

  • Visit the IDPH Injury and Violence Prevention webpage to access national and state resources to guide your injury and violence-related activities. The webpage also hosts an array of publications created by IVPP and the Illinois Partnership for Safety (IPS), such as the state planPDF Document, data bookPDF Document, and other reports. To learn more about IPS, please outreach to the IVPP staff.
  • Visit the IDPH Suicide Prevention webpage to connect to suicide prevention-related resources. State resources include the updated state planPDF Document. IVPP and the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance (ISPA) formed an adolescent suicide prevention ad hoc committee. Check back to the webpage often, as the committee is working to add more resources. To learn more about ISPA, please outreach to the IVPP staff.

Contact: Jennifer Martin, Injury and Violence Prevention Project Manager, jennifer.l.martin@illinois.gov, (217) 558-4081

The IFSN provides resources, free programming, and specialized assistance for child (pre-K-12) feeding, boarding and garden programs to develop a farm to school program. Whether it is a virtual training event, one-on-one consultation, or our vast online resources, there are many ways to learn about how easy it is to create a successful farm to school program.

Resource Highlights:

Contact: Diane Chapeta, IFSN Program Manager, farmtoschool@sevengenerationsahead.org, (708) 660-9909

ILLINOIS MTSS NETWORK

The Illinois MTSS Network (IL MTSS-N) exists to enhance and empower district and school implementation of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). MTSS is a framework for continuous improvement that is systemic, prevention-focused, and data-informed, providing a coherent continuum of supports responsive to meet the needs of all learners. The IL MTSS-N provides professional learning, including coaching, to support districts and schools to implement an equity-based MTSS that results in improved and sustained student growth in academics, social-emotional wellness and behavioral health.

Resource Highlights:

  • About Us BrochurePDF Document: This brochure provides an overview of the Illinois MTSS Network: their mission, who they are, what they do, and how they work with schools and districts to build their capacity to equitably meet the needs of all their students.
  • Webinars regarding Student Resilience, Chronic Absenteeism, and the Family Perspective: The Illinois MTSS Network provides a wide variety of resources on their website. As an example, this page provides access to recordings and resources related to webinars their talented and experienced staff have recently conducted.
  • Student Outcomes Infographic: IL MTSS-N works closely with partner districts and schools to strengthen their implementation of their MTSS framework that emphasizes a whole child approach. This infographic provides examples of improved student outcomes that partner schools and districts have seen related to their students' academic performance, social/emotional/behavioral functioning, and school attendance.

Contact: Dr. Melissa Hannasch, Director, melissa.hannasch@ilmtss.net, (618) 593-1243

Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI) is the oldest non-for profit, non-governmental statewide organization in Illinois working to advocate for mental health, prevent mental illness and improving care and treatment for people suffering from mental and emotional disorders. Mental Health America of Illinois is an affiliate of Mental Health America.

Resource Highlights:

  • MHAI Mental Health Screening Tools: Taking a mental health screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine if you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Resources for care and services are also posted. Recovery is possible.
  • MHA COVID 19 Webinars: This webpage hosts more than two dozen COVID-19 video presentations relating to a variety of populations.
  • MHAI Newsletter: Scroll down to the bottom of the page and sign up for their newsletter. Receiving the MHAI newsletter helps you stay up to date on presentations and activities that are happening here in Illinois. Tips, ideas and resources for mental wellness are regularly included in the newsletter.

Contact: Becky Nikolov, anstanna373@gmail.com, (309) 569-9006

ParenTeach trains high school educators to deliver a ParentAble, Parenting Education/Caregiver unit to their students, helping them develop a foundational understanding of positive parenting/caregiving practices. The ParentAble curriculum includes information about the effects of unintentional harmful parenting, the consequences of adverse childhood experiences, along with the power of resilience and positive parenting. The 10-lesson unit of curriculum aims to reduce child abuse and neglect rates, break the cycle of unintentional harmful parenting, create a level of comfort with seeking future parenting resources and support. ParentAble is aligned to many of the Illinois Social Emotional Learning and Health and Wellness standards for grades 9-10.

Resource Highlights:

  • Recruitment Flyer for ISBE funded pilot programPDF Document: 2019 legislation will add an evidence-based unit of parenting education to high school graduation requirements. ParentAble, a parenting education/caregiver unit, meets these requirements and is currently available for local adoption, ready to launch, and delivered through user-friendly, online learning platform. A joint collaboration project from ParenTeach and ISBE offers an opportunity to join a pilot which fully funds qualifying schools' engagement for one year.
  • ParentAble BrochurePDF Document: The ParentAble parenting education/caregiver unit provides high school students with awareness, knowledge, and skills to care for and encourage the physical, mental, and emotional development of children.
  • Link to samples of student final project: Students create a parenting education positive parenting advocacy product for community information and dialogue. This extends the original high school student founders' desire to education teens about parenting but also start societal awareness and conversations around positive parenting competencies. Teens can also use the skills they become aware of when they babysit, care for a younger sibling or relative and to have for future support if they chose to become a parent.

Contact: Katharine Bensinger, katharine@parenteach.com, (847) 712-2710

Playworks' mission is to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. Playworks is the leading nonprofit to leverage play as a tool to promote healthy behaviors and improve the learning environment in elementary schools. They use play, a universally accessible activity, to establish norms for respectful social behavior and to teach the social and emotional skills children need for long-term success.

Resource Highlights:

  • Safe Return to Play training: This two-hour training can be attended by any staff in your school who will be helping kids transition back to school. They'll learn about the benefits of play, outdoor and indoor space guidelines, equipment and play structure options, safe games to play, and get tailored insights about how to design your particular space to make it safe for the students to reap the benefits of play.
  • Keep Playing service: This subscription service provides educators with bite-sized, easily digestible content showcasing games and activities that can be used in-person or virtually to support student engagement, social-emotional learning, and physical activity. This 38-week curriculum subscription service is delivered weekly to take the guesswork out of incorporating play into distance and hybrid learning. Content components include brain breaks, games of the week incorporating SEL skills, and additional resources.
  • YouTube page:Vimeo Video Link Free games and activities to play with youth in person, in remote learning, and/or in hybrid learning environments.

Contacts: Colleen Harvey, Executive Director, colleen.harvey@playworks.org, (510) 290-5261. Debbie Serota, Program Director, deborah.serota@playworks.org, (847) 528-4760

Prevent School Violence Illinois (PSVI) partners with youth, families, educators and other school and community stakeholders to transform school climates, creating the conditions necessary for effective learning and healthy development. They do their work, which is grounded in social and emotional learning, in six domains: stakeholder engagement, data-informed decision making, policy advocacy, professional development, student supports, and restorative discipline.

Resource Highlights:

  • Podcast: Listen to Sarah Schriber and Stacey Horn talk with a school administrator and a student about a collaborative project they engaged in together to reduce bullying and improve school climate. Highlights PSVI's work to create bias-free spaces for young people and engage them in action research.
  • Example Training Agenda - Sexuality and Gender in SchoolsPDF Document: PSVI delivers customized professional development opportunities for all school personnel, including educators, student services staff, building personnel, and administrators on an array of topics including positive school culture and climate, LGB/T people and issues, race and equity, restorative justice practices, youth leadership, and more. This training agenda is an example of one session in a series on social identities in schools. For information about brining professional development to your classroom, school, or district, contact PSVI.
  • Bias-Based Bullying SurveyWord Document: PSVI developed the Bias-Based Bullying Survey to help schools understand their unique culture and climate around bullying motivated by bias against particular social identities, including race/ethnicity, race, religion, immigration status, and more. Additional information about reasons to administer the BBBS and support for data analysis and action planningPDF Document is available online.

Contact: Sarah Schriber, Executive Director, sarah@psvillinois.org, (312) 804-4824

Rise & Shine Illinois is a partnership of Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Rise & Shine works to end childhood hunger in Illinois by elevating the importance of and increasing access to child nutrition programs like school meals and summer meals.

Resource Highlights:

  • Rise & Shine Illinois Newsletter: Their monthly newsletter includes success stories from school districts, new resources to help improve meal programs, news updates, and upcoming grant opportunities. Sign up to stay in the loop on child nutrition best practices and more.
  • Breakfast After the Bell one pager:PDF Document This one pager provides an overview of the benefits of providing breakfast to students during the school day. With different delivery models and available resources, increasing access to school breakfast is within reach!
  • Stories of Innovation in a COVID-19 World: Let's be real, 2020 was rough. Luckily, school nutrition professionals are an unflappable bunch. In this blog post, read about some of their innovative methods for feeding kids during a pandemic.

Contact: Sarah Horn, Children's Nutrition Outreach Coordinator, shorn@gcfd.org, (773) 648-4925

SGA's Zero Waste Schools Program works with K-12 school staff and students to shift operations and minds towards generating zero waste through source reduction, recycling, composting, and food recovery.​

Resource Highlights:

  • Zero Waste Schools website and Zero Waste Schools Toolkit: Loaded with resources for implementing waste reduction strategies and educating and empowering students.
  • Zero Waste Schools monthly e-newsletter: The Zero Waste Schools newsletter will help you get your school on a path toward generating zero waste through waste prevention, recycling, composting, and food recovery. You'll also find resources that connect zero waste to healthy eating, school gardens, and environmental education and action. Check out their March 2021 newsletter for most recent news, events, and opportunities.

Contact: Susan Casey, Zero Waste Schools Program Manager, susan@sevengenerationsahead.org, (708) 660-9913

St. Louis District Dairy Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is nutrition education. They are dedicated to promoting dairy foods and providing science-based dairy and nutrition information. On most days, you will find them out in the field, working directly with consumers, educators, health professionals, and members of the media in the 131 counties they serve.

Resource Highlights:

  • Dollars for Dairy (Food Service): Apply for cafeteria funds to support your dairy related projects. Visit our website for the application, tips sheet, and a variety of videos highlighting examples of projects/equipment you can implement in your school. Applications are due June 21, 2021.
  • Power Up Materials (PE teachers/Coaches): Good nutrition is key to great performance. The dairy case is full of quick-fix snacks that power both activity and recovery! They are offering a no-cost resource kit for coaches that includes handouts for students and goodies for you.
  • Adopt A Cow (Teachers): This no-cost program allows classes to “adopt" a calf from one of their farmers, name it, and receive monthly pictures and updates. E-mail updates will arrive from a local dairy farmer, from September through May. While the majority of content is geared towards young students, any grade level can adopt a cow. Sign up as “interested" for the 2021-22 school year, and they will contact you when the adoption barn opens.

Contact:​ mnyman@stldairycouncil.org

U OF I EXTENSION – ABCs of SCHOOL NUTRITION

ABCs of School Nutrition is a partnership between the University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois State Board of Education to provide no-cost professional development opportunities for Illinois school nutrition professionals.

Resource Highlights:

  • Promotional Flyer​: Learn more about the ABCs of School Nutrition, including key topics for school nutrition success.
  • Online Training: Online courses make it easy to earn USDA Professional Standards credit at your convenience.
  • Resources: Sign up for a monthly newsletter, download sample menus, find new recipes, and more.

Contact: Trinity Allison; Extension Specialist, Family & Consumer Sciences; trinitya@illinois.edu​, (217) 300-8609

​The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. They have a variety of free resources that can be used both in and out of the classroom.

Resource Highlights:

Contact: Megan Gavin, Environmental Education Coordinator, gavin.megan@epa.gov, (312) ​353-5282

USDA FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service provides reimbursement through the Illinois State Board of Education to eligible sponsors for meals served to eligible children.

Resource Highlights:

Contact: Jenna Segal, Farm to School Regional Lead, Jenna.Segal@usda.gov, (312) 886-4613​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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