Trustmark's 2012 Impact Educator Grant Program Helps Lake County Schools Promote Healthy Children


LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Schools throughout Lake County are eligible to receive grants of up to $1,000 for innovative education programs that promote health and healthy decision-making. Trustmark, the Lake-Forest-based health and life insurer, benefits administrator, and health and fitness management company, along with Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, urge educators in elementary and high schools throughout Lake County to apply now for a 2012 Impact Educator Grant of up to $1,000.

Impact Educator Grants are awarded to teachers for creating programs that encourage children to make healthy lifestyle decisions. Last year, Trustmark awarded 84 grants totaling more than $76,000 to teachers in Lake County for developing innovative health-oriented curriculums, ranging from nutritional education to circuit fitness initiatives, and from outdoor team-building to substance abuse prevention.
“Health decisions start in childhood, and sometimes the easy choices are the bad choices,” said Nancy Eckrich, Trustmark’s Impact Educator Grant program Steering Committee Chair. “As a result, such choices can prove debilitating as one reaches adulthood. Through the Impact Educator Grant program, we hope to be of continued support to local schools which create educational programs to teach children to make healthier behavior choices.”

Lake County Teachers Can Apply Now
Trustmark invites teachers and principals who educate in public or parochial elementary, middle or high schools in Lake County, Ill., to apply for an Impact Educator Grant. Teachers can use a quick online application to apply by visiting All proposals must be received by October 24, 2011. Grants will be awarded December 2011.

The following are samples of creative school programs funded last year through the Impact Educator Grant Program:

You Are What You Eat
“We created a grocery store in our classroom. Students began by building a shopping list that would provide one day’s nutritional needs. They then stacked aisles with food according to food groups. Each student role-played a job needed to run a grocery store: store manager, stockers, cashiers, baggers and shoppers. ‘Shoppers’ used the shopping list as a guide to buying healthy foods. Later, we took a field trip to the Jewel in our neighborhood to experience firsthand how a grocery store really works.”
Sharon McDaniel, Kindergarten teacher
Greenwood Elementary School
Waukegan, Ill.

Camp Duncan, Here We Come!
 “Students spent the day at YMCA Camp Duncan and chose to participate in three activities from among: climbing wall, candle making, outdoor living skills, team-building course and games, and a star lab. All activities were 45 minutes long and allowed students to spend the entire day outdoors using materials from nature. This was our first time to receive an Impact Educator Grant.”
Amy Taucher, 6th grade teacher
Round Lake Middle School
Round Lake, Ill.

Fitness Circuit Fun
 “Students in third-through-fifth grade rotated through a fitness circuit, following ‘hot spot’ strength and flexibility exercises using stability and medicine balls, steps, jump ropes, and resistance bands and tubing. They also took part in aerobic bowling and started to learn to play tchoukball, which increases cardiovascular endurance. This was the first time I offered a fitness circuit because I didn’t previously have the equipment to be successful. We thank you so much for your generous grant, for without your funding the Glen Flora Fitness Fun Center could not have happened.”
Agnes Clifford, Physical Education teacher
Glen Flora Elementary School
Waukegan, Ill.

The Sobering Effects of Drug Use
 “My seventh and eighth grade students had the opportunity to learn about the harmful effects of alcohol and tobacco. According to local police, alcohol use among teens in our area is on the rise. Students examined ‘pickled liver,’ ‘affected brain’ and ‘healthy versus damaged lung’ models to represent what alcohol, drug abuse and smoking can do to these organs, played games to demonstrate the effect of impairment on multitasking such as speaking and thinking clearly while given a task, and had hands-on interactions with displays showing stages of improved health after quitting smoking. Students were enthusiastic to come to class each day, were fascinated with the materials and gained a greater understanding of what smoking and alcohol can do to the human body. This program further enhances our drug education curriculum and we plan to show off class materials at an upcoming health fair.”
Ben Leven, Health teacher
Twin Groves Middle School
Buffalo Grove, Ill.
The Picture of Health

“I purchased health books and posters for our class Health Day and for the school library. I tried to get materials for all grade levels. Our school just created a new reading curriculum and this fit perfectly. We sixth-grade teachers planned and taught an entire day about health, and used the guided reading books weekly. This year’s Health Day was a huge success compared to similar activities in the past.”
Megan Monsen, 6th grade teacher
J.J. Pleviak School
Lake Villa, Ill.

Trustmark has been awarding Impact Educator Grants to Lake County principals and teachers for the past nine years. The company is also dedicated to providing programs and benefits to help employers and their employees control the rising costs of healthcare. The Impact Educator Grant Program is one of several initiatives the company has in place to support that mission.

About the Trustmark Companies
Through its subsidiaries and operating divisions, Trustmark provides access to a full spectrum of flexible benefit solutions, including benefits administration, payroll-deducted voluntary products, group medical benefits, and health and fitness management programs. The success of each Trustmark company is based on building and maintaining trust through personal, responsive service and flexible benefit solutions. Trustmark subsidiaries and operating divisions include CoreSource, HealthFitness, Starmark, Trustmark Employer Medical, and Trustmark Voluntary Benefit Solutions. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Cindy Gallaher