2021 - 1st Quarter
An Equitable DuPage County is a Priority
Throughout 2020, it has become clear that FORWARD DuPage must deepen its role in the fight for a more healthy and equitable DuPage County. Our goal is to identify the issues and work together to help eliminate barriers so that everyone across DuPage, regardless of economic status, race, nationality, or religion can live their fullest life. As we begin a new year, below are some reflections on 2020 and the work that we hope to build on.

Together we can make a difference!
DuPage Resilience During the Pandemic
Providing communities access to important health and wellness resources is vital. Obesity not only disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minority groups, it also worsens outcomes from COVID-19 and Influenza. Early in the pandemic, FORWARD adjusted to these new realities by adding more FREE webinars to our schedule to support all residents with tools and information to strengthen their immune systems. Thank you to the 419 live viewers that tuned into a FORWARD webinar in 2020. Past recordings of each webinar and upcoming webinars can be accessed here.  If there is a topic of interest that you would like us to cover, please contact Tonia at toniabato@gmail.com.
Resources to Support Programs for Children
FORWARD DuPage has been targeting resources to DuPage County children 0-11 years of age for the past 8 years, this is an area of urgent need. Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood pressure rates measured in the county indicate that DuPage County children 2-4 years of age show obesity rates higher than the national average. Forward DuPage is committed to helping families establish a healthy foundation for children when they are young to ensure that they practice healthy habits for a lifetime.
Each year we share information, resources and offer technical support. In 2020 we offered direct support and services to 9 childcare providers, 202 preschoolers, 5 home visiting staff and 8 schools in low income/high risk communities. We provided education through monthly newsletters to more than 9848 early childhood providers/specialists and a family newsletter to 166 families. We trained 144 early childhood providers and/or parent educators, issuing 178 certifications. Our training and resources help build healthy environments and build healthy habits for eating and exercise for children. 

As an approved NAP SACC (Nutrition and Physical Activity, Self-Assessment Child Care) technical advisor, FORWARD has worked with over 46 leaders in our early childhood community (providers, parent educators and families) to meet NAP SACC best practices; best practices that provide for healthy eating and physical activity, nutritious menus, healthy environments, curriculum and more. To help early childhood providers more easily meet these best practices, FORWARD has developed tip sheets on a variety of topics. These tip sheets provide a basic overview, a bit of research on the topic and implementation tips and strategies. Although this information is most relevant for center and home based early childhood providers, anyone working with young children, including parents, will find the information helpful to improve the health of children and families. Click on the links below to view individual sheets.

Give the Gift of Equity
Please take a moment to support FORWARD DuPage’s work. We need you to join us in the Fight for Health Equity. When you make a tax-deductible donation today we can make an even bigger impact and move one step closer towards a healthy and equitable DuPage for everyone. Big or small, every donation makes a difference and goes to supporting programs that make our mission a reality.
New Year, New You
Turn the page to a healthier you. FORWARD DuPage has created 30 days of healthy tips to start 2021 off right! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to read and share our daily tips. Renew your commitment to health today!
Healthy Lifestyles in the News
FORWARD DuPage Board of Director in the News!
How COVID-19 transformed an Illinois trail into a pathway to mental health
Trendy microgreens offer flavor you can grow at home
Sugar substitute doesn't lead to the development of diabetes in healthy adults
Three pillars of mental health: Good sleep, exercise, raw fruits and veggies
Socioeconomic status linked to prevalence of complex multi-morbidity
Here's to a healthy 2021, with resolutions from heart doctors
Scientists publish guidelines for conversing with children about overweight, obesity
How to relieve stress, according to experts
Upcoming Opportunities
Action for Healthy Kids
Advocating for School Health

Tuesday, January 19
11:00am to 12:30pm

Learn how to advocate for school health at the campus, district and state level. Click here to register.
Safe Routes Partnership
Community Engagement Webinar

Tuesday, January 19
12:00pm to 1:30pm

Learn how to engage students, parents, staff and teachers around Safe Routes to School. Click here to register.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
National Day of Racial Healing

Tuesday, January 19

Launched in 2017, the National Day of Racial Healing is an opportunity to bring ALL people together in their common humanity and inspire collective action to create a more just and equitable world. Click here for more info.
DuPage Forest Preserve
Ambassador Tour - Willowbrook

Wednesday, January 20 - 3pm to 4pm
(additional dates available thru March)

Join a naturalist for a tour of the exhibit trail and the animals that live at the center. Click here to register.
IL Critical Access Hospital Network
Responding to Vaccine Hesitancy

Monday, January 25 - 2 to 3pm
(1.0 Nurse Contact Credit)

Learn how to better respond in a patient centered manner to vaccine hesitancy Click here for cost details and to register.
New Year, New You: The Whole-Body Approach to Health

Tuesday, January 26
11:30am to 12:15pm

Learn about an approach that encourages folks to shift their ideas of health away from calculated ideas of food, physical activity, and bodies and towards mindfulness, intuitive eating, enjoyable movement, and body acceptance. Click here to register.
Active Transportation Alliance
Winter Bike Challenge

Monday, January 25 thru
Sunday, February 7

It may be cold but we’ve got a way to warm you up and put a smile on your face!  Click here for info and to sign up.
Bike Palatine Club
Indoor Fitness Challenge for Cyclists

Wednesday, January 27

Help keep your summer body in top biking form all winter by sticking to a fitness routine. Click here for more info.
Glenbard Parent Network
Understanding Stressed, Depressed, and Amazing Adolescence in the Age of Anxiety

Wednesday, January 27
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Discover a clear plan to help adults strengthen their critically important connection with youth and understand, validate and support their day-to-day experiences on this webinar for professionals. Click here for more info.
Understanding Your Child’s Stressed, Depressed and Amazing Adolescence

Wednesday, January 27
7:00pm to 8:00pm

Learn how to help your kids make sense of, and integrate, all they take in, starting at a very early age. To do that, we must know and truly understand their world. Click here for more info.
The Conservation Foundation
Using Nature to Improve Mental Health

Thursday, January 28
8:30am to 12:00pm

Hear ways to engage with nature for the purpose of find mental strength and balance. Click here to register.
Mothers' Milk Bank
Meet the Milk Bank

Tuesday, February 9
11:00am to 12:30pm

Learn about the safety, access and equity of pasteurized donor human milk in Illinois/Wisconsin. Click here to register.
Meetup of Downers Grove
Health Optimization in a Toxic World: Learn and Share Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Tuesdays at 6:45pm

The research is clear. The first alternative, that we owe ourselves, is to use natural means to maintain and restore our health. No one else is responsible for this - not even our doctors or nutritionists or anyone else. Click on the date above to register.
DuPage Forest Preserve
Fresh Air Friday - St. James Farm

Saturdays from 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Breathe deep on a guided walk through the forest preserve. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. Click on the date above to register.
Hiking with Our Nocturnal Neighbors - Herrick Lake

Saturdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Join a naturalist on a search for signs of coyotes, owls, and deer, and learn what it takes to survive Illinois’ cold winter nights. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person.  Click on the date above to register.
Winter Story and Stroll - St. James Farm

Sunday, February 14
2:00pm to 3:30pm

Join a guided walk to look for signs of wildlife. Then, warm up with a wintertime story in the indoor riding arena. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 5 and up; under 18 with an adult. $5 per person. Click here to register.
Habitat Hike - West DuPage Woods

Saturday, February 20
2:00pm to 3:00pm

Explore habitats, which animals live in each, how they provide for wildlife year-round, and signs of how animals adapt seasonally. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 12 and up; under 18 with an adult. $5 per person.  Click here to register.
Action for Health Kids
School Meals - Fact or Fiction!

Tuesday, February 16
11:00am to 12:30pm

What do you really know about your school meal program? Find out the answer and more. Click here to register.
IL Critical Access Hospital Network
The Low Down on Cholesterol

Thursday, February 25
9:00am to 12:00pm

Learn about management and treatment on this webinar for professionals. Click here for cost details and to register.
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Call for Projects

Applications Due
Friday, March 5

Submit a funding application for surface transportation projects. This call for projects will lead to local and regional transportation investments that help northeastern Illinois communities prosper. Click here for more info and to apply.
Riding for Focus and Outride Grants

Applications Due
Thursday, March 11

Public webinars will be held in January. Click here for more info on the grants and to register for the webinars.
The Conservation Foundation
Planning Your Rain Garden

Wednesday, March 17
1:00pm to 2:00pm

Learn how to locate, design and plant your rain garden to turn your problem area into a beautiful space. Click here to register.
DuPage Forest Preserve
Mayslake by Moonlight

After the sun sets, enjoy an outdoor walking tour as you hear about urban legends, tales of hauntings and stories of mischief. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. Click on the date above to register.
Nature Detectives: Signs of Spring Walk - St. James Farm

Sunday, March 21
2:00pm to 3:00pm

Bring your family on this scavenger hunt, and sharpen your observational skills as you enjoy the seasonal features. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. Click here to register.
Action for Healthy Kids
School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs) in Action!

Part 1 - Tuesday, March 30
11:00am to 1:00pm

Why is SHAC so important? What laws should you be aware of? What role does SHAC play with Wellness policies? How do you host a successful SHAC meeting? How do you work with District Administrators? Join in to find out. Click here to register.

Part 2 - Wednesday, March 31
11:00am to 1:00pm

Join in as SHACs from across the state share what has made them successful. Get tips on how to engage parents, how to work with district administration and school boards, and how to be involved remotely! Click here to register.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Evidence of Action (E4A) Call for Proposals

Applications Due on Rolling Basis

E4A funds research that expands the evidence needed to build a Culture of Health. A Culture of Health is broadly defined as one in which good health and well-being flourish across geographic, demographic, and social sectors. Click here to apply.
Be an Agent of Change
The challenges facing children and families to support healthy lifestyles will take the combined passions, expertise and influence of many. If you're reading this message, you are one of those influencers. Join us in our mission:

Donate - Too many families don't have access to the services and resources they need to stay healthy. In honor of our 10th anniversary, we've set our sights on raising $200,000 for change. Every dollar will support FORWARD DuPage's work to build capacity in communities where the need is great and the resources are too few.
Sign-Up - Join our coalition of thousands of partners so we can drive change for children and families and improve healthy lifestyle outcomes together.

Share Our Message - Spread the word about our 10th Anniversary and the impact we have had on our website or on the social media links at the bottom of the page.
Do you subscribe to the IMPACT DuPage Newsletter?
Impact DuPage is a county-wide initiative of partner organizations working to influence change in the areas of affordable housing, access to health treatment, behavioral health treatment, substance abuse and healthy lifestyles. FORWARD is Impact DuPage’s vehicle to help influence residents and partners to make positive choices regarding nutrition, physical activity, and the built environment
to improve health status improvement.

For more details and to stay up to date on local progress, click here and subscribe to their twice a month newsletter. 
Help Us Get the Word Out!
Do you know of an upcoming event or health fair in DuPage County?

5-4-3-2-1 Go!® is a public education message with recommendations for children and families to promote a healthy lifestyle.
  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  • 4 servings of water a day
  • 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
  • 2 or less hours of screen time a day
  • 1 or more hours of physical activity a day
For helpful resources and ideas on how to incorporate this message in your DuPage County organization click here.

If you are interested in distributing health and wellness materials at an upcoming event call 630.221.7550 or email healthpromotions@dupagehealth.org or Tonia Batogowski at toniabato@gmail.com
We would like to thank our funders!