Mindful Metropolis April 2010 : Page 17

tical steps we can all take to combat childhood obesity. “We are here—waiting for Chicagoans to take advantage of the programming we have to offer. Let us do what we can to help,” said Gasberra. Although some may be skeptical about the ability of grassroots organizations like Growing Healthy Kids to affect real change in this na- tional health crisis, Melissa Tobias, Education Coordinator with Seven Generations Ahead and also a participant in Growing Healthy Kids, feels strongly that taking small steps in the right direction is ultimately going to make a big dif- ference. “I know that we aren’t going to be able to completely change the school lunch pro- grams throughout the Chicago Public School (CPS) system overnight. But for example, the CPS school lunch provider has made efforts to incorporate flash-frozen local produce into the lunches and that is one step in the right direc- tion,” said Tobias. Frustrated Chicago parents welcome news of outreach efforts like Growing Healthy Kids. Me- linda Duritsa, mother of a six-year-old CPS stu- dent is so unhappy with the school lunch program at her daughter’s school that she is researching the possibility of an outside company like Gour- met Gorilla delivering organic boxed lunches as an alternative. “I’ve only let my daughter eat the school lunch a few times when she has begged me because she sees other kids eating it but I just can’t stand the thought of it. We have to find something better,” she said. Duritsa adds that she would be delighted if her daughter’s classroom took ad- vantage of local programming such as tours of the Edible Garden. “I wish that the principal and teachers knew about these types of opportuni- ties,” said Duritsa. Although much work remains to be done, Tobias stresses that there is reason to be hope- ful for meaningful change. “I really feel ener- gized and optimistic. With all of the momen- tum that this issue has right now, it is cool to see how things are really taking off. Finally, people are realizing the devastating effect that childhood obesity has on kids,” she said. Caitlin Murray Giles is a Chicago-based free- lance writer and mother of three. Visit her at caitlingiles.com. » For more information on Growing Healthy Kids, including all of the par- ticipants and upcoming events, con- tact melissa Graham at 773.991.1920 or info@purpleasparagus.com. Trust your smile and oral health to the dentist who teaches other dentists how to use new technology and cutting-edge techniques Stephen J. Gordon, DDS 8 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1800, Chicago Perio Protect Method | Dental Laser Treatments | Cerec Technology | Dental Ozone Therapy Call for an appointment today, or visit our website for more information Tel: 312-750-9000 | www.o-zonedentist.com Common Ground is a center for inquiry, study, and dialogue. Our primary con- cern is the human quest for understand- ing and the human pursuit of signifi- cance. While our endeavor began with the study of world religions and the commitment t faith dialogue, our range of program offerin has been great expanded over the past several years. Today, our primary focus is on the world's great cultural philosophical, rel gious, and spiritual t ditions and their imp tions for every dimen human experience. O offerings include a tremendous variety of topics, including, but not limited to: history, literature, art, science, psycholo- gy, business, relationship, health, and per- sonal growth. Our programs are shaped to meet the needs of all who are excited by ideas and serious about the quest. Common Ground is for those who are already deeply grounded in their own tra- ditions and for those who are still search- ing. It is a place for all who are fascinated by the convergence of the ancient with the modern, of East with West, and of ty with planetary real- Common Ground ngs together a knowl- dge of the past and a vision of the future for a better understand- ing of the present. Common Ground 815 Rosemary Terrace Deerfield, IL 60015 info@cg.org 847-940-7870 www.cg.org Deerfield • Chicago • Crystal Lake Elmhurst • Evanston • Palatine • Flossmoor Theosophical Society • Warrenville mindfulmetropolis.com 17

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