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Chicago Ridge, IL, United States

Jaskiewicz L.,Grand Valley State University | Dombrowski R.D.,Chicago Public Schools | Drummond H.M.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Mason M.,Northwestern University | Welter W.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Preventing Chronic Disease | Year: 2013

Background Low-income and minority communities have higher rates of nutrition-related chronic diseases than do high-income and nonminority communities and often have reduced availability to healthful foods. Corner store initiatives have been proposed as a strategy to improve access to healthful foods in these communities, yet few studies evaluating these initiatives have been published. Community Context Suburban Cook County, Illinois, encompasses 125 municipalities with a population of more than 2 million. From 2000 through 2009, the percentage of low-income suburban Cook County residents increased 41%; African-American populations increased 20%, and Hispanic populations increased 44%. A 2012 report found that access to stores selling healthful foods was low in several areas of the county Methods Beginning in March 2011, the Cook County Department of Public Health recruited community institutions (ie, local governments, nonprofit organizations, faith-based institutions) who recruited corner stores to participate in the initiative. Corner stores were asked to add new, healthful foods (May-June 2011) to become eligible to receive new equipment, marketing materials, and enhanced community outreach (July 2011-February 2012). Outcomes Nine community institutions participated. Of the 53 corner stores approached, 25 (47%) participated in the trial phase, which included offering 6 healthful foods in their stores. Of those, 21 (84%) completed the conversion phase, which included expansion of healthful foods through additional equipment and marketing and promotional activities. Interpretation Community institutions can play a key role in identifying and engaging corner stores across jurisdictions that are willing and able to implement a retail environment initiative to improve access to healthful foods in their communities. Source

News Article
Site: http://www.sej.org/headlines/list

"Shortly after Chicago Public Schools disclosed the district has not tested water fountains for lead contamination, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the nation's third-largest school system will begin checking water in a small number of schools this year. The announcement Wednesday came more than a month after the Tribune requested the results of any water quality tests conducted by or for CPS since 2012. The school district failed to respond within legal deadlines set by the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, but in an email sent an hour before Emanuel's office released its statement a district spokesman said CPS had no records to provide. The water crisis in Flint, Mich., has put new pressure on cities and school districts to address the safety of drinking water. Like Flint, Chicago and many older cities required the use of lead plumbing during the last century, and few have been required to replace those pipes with safer materials." Michael Hawthorne and Jennifer Smith Richards report for the Chicago Tribune April 27, 2016.

Reed D.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Wilkerson B.,Chicago Public Schools | Yanek D.,Northside College Prep High School | Dettori L.,DePaul University | Solin J.,HIGH-TECH
ACM Inroads | Year: 2015

Early in 2011, we sat glumly around a table in Chicago, pondering our second NSF grant proposal rejection. We were working to enhance computer science (CS) education in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Many of the CS courses in the approximately 120 high schools at the time consisted primarily of learning basic word-processing and spreadsheet commands. We had discovered the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum that we thought would engage students, but were stuck trying to sell the idea. It was at this turning point that we agreed that, funding or not, we were going to provide a compelling and relevant CS course for every CPS high school student. We saw it not only as economically expedient, but also as a justice issue for our students. © 2015 ACM. Source

Varelas M.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Pappas C.C.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Tucker-Raymond E.,TERC | Kane J.,University of Illinois at Chicago | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching | Year: 2010

In this study we explored how dramatic enactments of scientific phenomena and concepts mediate children's learning of scientific meanings along material, social, and representational dimensions. These drama activities were part of two integrated science-literacy units, Matter and Forest, which we developed and implemented in six urban primary-school (grades 1st-3rd) classrooms. We examine and discuss the possibilities and challenges that arise as children and teachers engaged in scientific knowing through such experiences. We use Halliday's (1978. Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. Baltimore, MD: University Park Press) three metafunctions of communicative activity-ideational, interpersonal, and textual-to map out the place of the multimodal drama genre in elementary urban school science classrooms of young children. As the children talked, moved, gestured, and positioned themselves in space, they constructed and shared meanings with their peers and their teachers as they enacted their roles. Through their bodies they negotiated ambiguity and re-articulated understandings, thus marking this embodied meaning making as a powerful way to engage with science. Furthermore, children's whole bodies became central, explicit tools used to accomplish the goal of representing this imaginary scientific world, as their teachers helped them differentiate it from the real world of the model they were enacting. Their bodies operated on multiple mediated levels: as material objects that moved through space, as social objects that negotiated classroom relationships and rules, and as metaphorical entities that stood for water molecules in different states of matter or for plants, animals, or nonliving entities in a forest food web. Children simultaneously negotiated meanings across all of these levels, and in doing so, acted out improvisational drama as they thought and talked science. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

McCreary L.L.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Park C.G.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Gomez L.,Logan Square Neighborhood Association | Peterson S.,Chicago Public Schools | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: School-based programs to combat childhood obesity often lack resources to incorporate strong evaluation components. This paper describes a collaborative evaluation conducted by partners implementing Active Living by Design (ALbD) programs at one Chicago elementary school. Purpose: To assess ALbD program outcomes by triangulating various forms of evidence gathered while implementing these programs. Methods: An exploratory, mixed-methods design was used to collect and analyze data from numerous physical activity initiatives implemented at the school from 2004 to 2009. The researchers triangulated quantitative (student BMI data, student standardized test and discipline data, classroom physical activity logs, and student physical activity knowledge surveys) and qualitative (classroom physical activity logs and open-ended teacher surveys questions) findings to assess outcomes. Results: Students continuously enrolled at this school from Grades 1 through 4, those most exposed to ALbD activities over time, had significantly lower BMI after 4 years, compared with peers who transferred to the school after Grade 1. Student achievement on standardized tests improved between 2004 (prior to initiating ALbD activities) and 2008. Visits to the Disciplinary Office dropped dramatically over the 4-year period. Teacher interviews and surveys and classroom Take 10! Program activity logs revealed that the program was implemented enthusiastically by all grades. The Physical Activity Knowledge Survey revealed a significant increase in physical activity knowledge after instituting these activities. Conclusions: Collaborative efforts to amass and analyze a variety of data demonstrated the effects of implementing a variety of health promotion activities in one school, documenting the growth of a "culture of health" in that school community. © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Source

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