District 63 Education Foundation - TLC

  • Garden Planting
  • TLC Summer Program

Model Communities Grantee

Total Learning Community (TLC)/East Maine School District 63

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Grantee Summary

TLC/School District (SD) 63 is located in northwestern suburban Cook County and includes 6 elementary schools and 1 middle school. Total enrollment in the district is comprised of 3,600 students from unincorporated Maine Township, which includes parts of Niles, Des Plaines, Morton Grove, Glenview and Park Ridge. The district is economically and racially diverse, with a high percentage of students who do not speak English at home.

Policy, System and Environmental (PSE) Changes

TLC/SD 63 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:

  • Adoption of district-wide standards for school meals that improve quality and nutrition;
  • Implementation of a school garden at one elementary school for integration of gardening and healthy eating into school curriculum;
  • Adoption of policies which incorporate physical activity (PA) into the school day;
  • Adoption of policies and integration of before/after school programs that support PA and healthy foods to be served during these programs;
  • Adoption of worksite wellness policies that increase opportunities for staff to engage in PA during the school day; and
  • Adoption of a school travel plan to support Safe Routes to School.

Highlights and Successes

  • To increase opportunities for students to be more physically active, new playground equipment was purchased for several schools. One school is piloting a more structured recess, and they have found that there are fewer behavioral incidents on the playground as a result of this program.
  • School travel plans to make it easier and safer for students to walk and bike to school are being finalized for all schools and are expected to be adopted in Spring 2012.
  • In addition to implementing a school garden, teachers at Apollo Elementary were trained in Seven Generation’s Ahead Farm-to-School curriculum and have implemented “Fresh from the Farm Fridays” in their classrooms.
  • Five new healthy snacks were introduced into the TLC afterschool program and students get a healthy cooking demo from a volunteer every week.

Sustainability of PSE changes

  • Having school travel plans in place will allow the district to apply for Safe Routes to School funding, and the district has already begun building momentum for walking and biking to school with their promotional initiative: “Walk and Roll to School” Wednesdays.
  • TLC/SD 63 has taken advantage of training opportunities to build the capacity of teachers and staff.
  • TLC/SD 63 are actively seeking other funding resources that will allow them to continue to build on their current momentum.

Contact Information

10100 Dee St., Des Plaines, IL 60016
Contact: Emily Rooney
Phone: 847-827-4137
Email: erooney@emsd63.org - Project Coordinator
Technical Assistance Partner: Active Transportation Alliance, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Seven Generations Ahead