Creating a Culture of Wellness


Lessons learned in class can shape how students approach health and wellness. Fit to Learn helps teachers make sure those lessons are healthy ones.

Fit to Learn is a professional development program to help teachers integrate nutrition and fitness into everyday subjects, while meeting state standards. The objective: make healthy habits a routine part of how kids learn.

Healthy Schools Campaign created Fit to Learn by observing classrooms.

We also received extensive input from academic leaders and Chicago Public School teachers who have an expertise in nutrition, fitness and child development. The program will soon be available to classrooms across the country.

The result is an opportunity to prepare students for increased academic achievement, better behavior and reduced absenteeism: studies show that when kids are physically active and have a healthy school environment, learning and test scores improve.

Boosting Student Learning with Physical Activity


Fit to Learn: At a Glance


Fit to Learn equips teachers with a simple, creative approach to education and classroom management that makes wellness a priority. For example:

Make healthy eating part of the classroom conversation. Engage students in creating visual representations such as graphs of the number and types of healthy foods eaten during lunch.

Walk the walk. Eat food at school that is just as healthy as the food you’d want students to enjoy.

Stay active throughout the school day. Review any subject in a fun, active way. Have students form a circle with one of them holding a playground ball. Ask a review question. The student will answer, then toss the ball to a classmate.

Focus class celebrations and rewards on fun, not food. Set up craft stations and play music in the background. Or, have a dance party. Be creative.

Building a Community of Wellness Champions


Healthy Schools Campaign brings together teachers from across the city to learn from experienced practitioners and share successful strategies from their own classrooms and schools.

Teachers who participate in Fit to Learn are eligible for professional development credit and are equipped with the skills and materials to share this health-promoting approach with other teachers. The combined effect is an inspiring yet practical program designed to support teachers and engage students.

Fit to Learn includes:

  • A full-day professional development session led by experienced educators
  • A comprehensive set of lesson plans for grades K-5
  • Ideas and success stories from teachers who have used Fit to Learn in their classrooms
  • A teacher’s journal to record notes, observations, ideas and experiences implementing the program
  • Booster sessions throughout the year to focus in-depth on particular topics and provide ongoing support for teachers
  • A monthly newsletter spotlighting teacher successes and new resources

Impact: Healthy Students


With on-the-ground professional development in Chicago and forthcoming resources for educators across the country, Fit to Learn is changing the way we think about wellness in the classroom, one simple shift at a time.

“I’ve been able to use a lot of the different ideas and activities,”
says Deborah Davis, a first-grade teacher at Hitch Elementary in Chicago. “The resources are really teacher-friendly. But most importantly, the students get really excited about the activities, especially anything related to motor skills. Just getting them
moving—they love it!”

Davis notes that parents have also been excited to see how enthusiastic their children are about health-related activities like creating grocery lists and helping pick healthy food options.

“Parents tell me how their kids get really excited to get that approval to say, ‘Look, I’m doing the right thing. I’m eating healthy.’”

For More Information


Interested in making healthy changes in your classroom and want to find out more information about Fit to Learn? Sign up to receive occasional email updates. Or contact Kristi Cox at [email protected] for specific questions.

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