Chicago Ridge School District 127 1/2

  • Chicago Ridge Spring Garden Kick-off
  • Healthy Cooking with Chef Kate Bradley
  • Grow Your Own Pizza Garden
  • Formal Recess
  • Ridge Central Spring Garden

Model Communities Grantee

Chicago Ridge School District 127 1/2

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Grantee Summary

Chicago Ridge School District (SD) 127 ½ is located in southwest suburban Cook County and includes 3 schools - 2 elementary schools and one middle school - that serve 1,300 students from the Chicago Ridge community. The student population of the school district is very diverse speaking 18 different languages aside from English, with the highest population speaking Arabic.

Policy, System and Environmental (PSE) Changes

SD 127 ½ is utilizing the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program (HSP) Framework for many of the policy changes they are working to implement with their Model Communities award. These include the following PSEs:

  • Integration of a school/community garden into the school food environment, community nutrition events and classroom curriculum;
  • Adoption of a comprehensive policy or procedure that addresses wellness among the school-based community (including staff) through healthy eating, weight reduction and physical activity opportunities;
  • Adoption of a policy or procedure that provides for formal recess and implements Peaceful Playground for 740 elementary students in two schools and the Eisenhower Cooperative; and
  • Adoption of a policy or procedure that increases physical activity opportunities for all students at three schools through after school programs.

Highlights and Successes

  • The Ridge Central garden was installed in April 2011. The garden kick-off, including a salad bar using produce from the garden, took place in June 2011 and integration of the Fresh from the Farm curriculum occurred at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.
  • The Chicago Ridge School Board approved a pilot formal recess program in June 2011. All students, at both elementary schools now have structured recess every day using the Peaceful Playground curriculum.
  • The school district staff, Eisenhower Cooperative staff and Chicago Ridge Public Library staff have access to a fitness room to improve worksite wellness among staff. The district’s worksite wellness initiative also eliminated donuts and pastries from staff meetings and replaced those foods with more fruits, vegetables and healthy beverage options.
  • After school activities were created by teachers at all three elementary schools.

Sustainability of PSE changes

  • An administrative procedure will be adopted for the district’s worksite wellness initiative.
  • A district wellness council has been formed with representation from each school and will sustain the policy and procedural changes made through the Model Communities grant period.
  • The Chicago Ridge and SD 127 ½ garden clubs will sustain the garden and student use of the garden will be integrated into the curriculum of multiple subject areas.
  • Formal recess will move from a pilot project to school board policy.

Contact Information

Chicago Ridge School District 127 1/2

6135 W. 108th St., Chicago Ridge, IL 60414   
Contact: Joyce Kleinaitis
Phone: 708-636-2000
Technical Assistance Partner: Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Seven Generations Ahead