Health, Wellness & Care
The Healthy Body-Healthy Mind initiative was created by NCCP with the awareness that academic success is highly correlated with student health-related factors such as, “hunger, physical and emotional abuse, and chronic illness,” as stated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With 28.7% of residents living below the poverty line, 65% of school age students classified as “low income” and only 52% of students meeting or exceeding academic standards, NCCP met the implicit call to action with a pilot initiative designed to increase awareness of the strong connection between student health and academic success. This initiative is a year-long program offering an assortment of school-based enrichment and educational opportunities for children and adults in the area of health and wellness. The program encompasses such offerings as:
- Family-friendly health fairs
- Healthy cooking classes
- Exercise classes
- Thanksgiving Dinner Kit distributions
- After School Enrichment Program lessons on nutrition, hygiene and exercise
Healthy Body-Healthy Mind also includes several programs that meet the ongoing needs of the school community such as the:
Student Care Closet: The Student Care Closet (SCC) provides students with uniforms, school supplies, hygiene and other items as needed. From July 2015-June 2016, 127 units, including; clothing, backpacks, school supply and hygiene kits were distributed.
Family Care Closet: The Family Care Closet (FCC) is located at North Chicago Community High School and is open on Tuesdays from 3:30-5:00 PM. Families enrolled in CUSD 187 are invited to visit the FCC one time per month for non-perishable food items, personal hygiene items, household items and school supplies.
- NCCP provided the start-up funding and actively manages the FCC along with the support of community and NCCHS volunteers.
- Food items are purchased through the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) using contributions from Shields Township/Phoenix Rising Foundation, First Presbyterian Church and several private donors.
- Non-food items are donated in-kind through collections organized by a number of NCCP partners.
- The collaboration behind the FCC allowed for 1,532 shopper visits between July 2015-June 2016.