There are not any sweet treats and food is not offered to reward the kids for good work. Teachers count their steps using a pedometer and parents sign an agreement obligating them to the schools healthy approach to eating.
During the day you can see 5 year olds learning the alphabet while dancing to hip-hop music. In third grade the kids learn math by twisting their bodies into geometric shapes and fifth graders are learning to count calories.
Imagination is a given in their teaching style and the results are being realized.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation which began with the heart association and the Bill Clinton foundation recognized the school with their first ever foundation award.
Danville is located below Chicago and is not an upper-class community. It is a farming community that is economically challenged. However, all of the 30,000 inhabitants are committed to the cause because of the love they have for their children.
Not all of the children in school or Danville are slim. The younger ones that still carry some baby fat are just as enthused as their older classmates. The program for them is less structured as the older children, but they still run around the football field and play as hard as their more slender counterparts.
The figures of overweight and obese children mirror the national average for the population of Danville and surrounding Vermillion County. After 3 years the figures have dropped slightly which is a good sign. The Principal indicates that it is too soon to call it a habit, but the kids are learning and passing the lessons on to their families.
One of the first lessons taught to the older children is how to correctly understand the information on food labels and how they can be misleading to the uninformed.
The Principal is true to her calling by living what she teaches. She walks to classes to get children she need to speak to and walks the track at recess instead of just standing around. She says that the children are quick to notice and call to her to see how she is doing in her own regimen, asking her how many steps she has walked during the day.
Parents are pleased because their kids ask for fruit and veggies for snacks now and are always looking forward to meeting the next goal in the new healthy lifestyle as the health and life of their children become more improved every day by the program in the local school.