For Immediate Release
May 1, 2013

School Wellness Conference stresses the connection between healthy students and academic success

Educators come from across the state for annual event

SPRINGFIELD— The research is clear: Healthy kids learn better. Educators, administrators, school nurses, food service staff and others from across Illinois will convene Friday, May 3, to discuss healthy school policies and practices during the sixth annual School Wellness Conference in Springfield.  Sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education and Action for Healthy Kids, the conference will highlight the academic benefits of a healthy school environment.

“Proper nutrition and physical fitness are essential for optimal learning,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “Good school nutrition and healthy practices are more important than ever as schools feed more children through the National School Lunch Program and we all work to help reverse the tide of childhood obesity. With the help of conferences like this one, we can develop a new generation of students who understand the importance of exercising both their minds and bodies.”

In the keynote presentation “The Learning Connection: Enhancing Academic Success Through Healthy School Environments,” speakers Rob Bisceglie, chief executive officer of Action for Healthy Kids, and Connie Mueller, former Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Bloomington District 87, will discuss the new The Learning Connection report, which is available online at

“There’s so much research showing that kids who get regular physical activity and consume nutritious foods and beverages do better in the classroom and on standardized tests,” says Bisceglie of Action for Healthy Kids. “Instilling healthy behaviors in schools and homes is not just about students’ overall health, which is obviously critical. It’s also about students’ long-term academic performance and everyone — parents, teachers, school administrators, the nation as a whole — has a stake in that.”

Other sessions at the day-long conference will include an update on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, and presentations on school health initiatives, new national nutrition education standards, free health and wellness programs, and employee staff wellness.

Wellness Advocates Honored

At the conference, the Illinois State Board of Education also will honor four Illinois School Wellness Advocates from across the state:

Sixth Annual Wellness Conference

What: The School Wellness Conference
When:  9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Friday, May 3
Where:  The Springfield Hilton, 700 E. Adams St., Springfield

Visit these web resources on student nutrition and wellness for additional information:



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