Melissa Mellor

Illinois Celebrates Whole Child Month!

Illinois lawmakers have officially recognized the value of a whole child approach to education that ensures each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. As a result of Illinois ASCD's persistent efforts, the state legislature passed whole child resolutions (HR 0781 and SR 0545) that designate March as Illinois Whole Child Month and call on parents, educators, and communities to work together to support the whole child. The House resolution also encourages every school in the state to celebrate Illinois Whole Child Month by adopting at least one of the five whole child tenets to promote and encourage throughout the month.

To help schools get started, ASCD has compiled a handy one-page tip sheet (PDF) with ideas for celebrating Whole Child Month, including

  • Accessing our new Whole Child Examples Map to learn what Illinois schools and communities (and other schools and communities across the country and the world) are already doing to promote a whole child approach to education.
  • Grading your school to identify how it can focus its efforts to ensure each student is prepared for the future.
  • Hosting a community conversation to allow all stakeholders (families, educators, local policymakers, community organizations, students, and others) to explore and discuss the best ways to support the whole child.
  • Making the case for a whole child approach to education to your local principal, superintendent, school board, state board of education, and other policymakers.
  • Conducting a needs assessment of how well your school and community is supporting the whole child and developing a set of strategic goals and outcomes using ASCD’s Whole Child Indicators (PDF).

Whether you live in Illinois or elsewhere, these ideas are good starting points for putting the whole child approach into action. Be sure to return to to access these resources and more, including this blog, our podcast, and our newsletter. Also, learn more about Byrne Creek Secondary School, located in Burnaby, British Columbia, the just-announced 2012 winner of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award.

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