Trustmark’s 2013 Impact Educator Grant Program Helps Lake County Schools Promote Healthy Lifestyles for 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 urges educators in elementary and high schools throughout Lake County to apply now for a 2013 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 68 grants totaling more than $61,000 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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 17 percent of children are obese, bearing a medical cost of more than $3 billion dollars annually. And teenage cigarette smokers make up one out of every four high school students, with one-third of those smokers expected to die prematurely of tobacco-related disease, according to the New York Times.
“With focus on academics, our children’s health, nutrition and physical education resources are often sized down in the schools,” said Kathy Machak, Trustmark’s Impact Educator Grant program Steering Committee Chair. “Through the Impact Educator Grant program, we hope continue to support local Lake County schools in helping our children make healthier behavior choices that can follow them through adulthood.”

Lake County Teachers Can Apply Now
Trustmark invites teachers and principals who educate in public or not-for-profit 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 29, 2012. Grants will be awarded December 2012.

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

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Me
“Second- through fifth-grade classes met weekly in the science lab, greenhouse, gym and playground. Part of our study was to grow cucumbers, tomatoes and basil. Our students found it exciting to sample the way self-grown foods can taste. This is our first year of Impact Grant funding. By making healthy eating decisions, students gain important insights in becoming healthy adults.”

Todd Freer and Jared Rathge, Science and Physical Education teachers
Andrew Cooke Magnet School
Waukegan, Illinois

Dancing and Playing Our Way to Health!
“This gave our first- and second-grade students the opportunity to learn songs that promote healthy eating and lifestyle habits through movement, instrument playing and singing. Students later came up to me in the hall to tell me they ate “red” or “purple” today. It’s from one of the songs, “Eat a Rainbow,” which means eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables.”

Alicia Luthardt, Music teacher
Oak Terrace School
Highwood, Illinois

Hearts O’ Fun
“Wearing heart rate monitors, students performed sit-ups, push-ups, calisthenics, obstacle course and jogging. They kept logs and determined which exercises yielded the best results according to the goals they set. Taking a pulse rate manually is difficult, often inaccurate and time-consuming. The heart rate monitors eliminated this problem.”  

Denise DiValerio, Physical Education teacher
Green Bay Elementary
North Chicago, Illinois

Breathing for Life
“More than 200 students currently enrolled in our school are diagnosed with asthma. We used the Open Airways curriculum by the American Lung Association to teach these students about their illness. Students learned the proper use of a metered dose inhaler, holding chamber and peak flow meter, which were purchased with Impact Grant funds. One student even made a visual schedule and video to assist in teaching the use of these items.”

Diane Driver, RN, Certified School Nurse
McCall Elementary
Waukegan, Illinois

Spill Your Guts!
“How do the human body systems work together? We used anatomical models, and a variety of games and books to help students understand the skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems. With Impact Grant monies, we were able to supplement our existing equipment and purchase materials to allow more than one class at a time to use them.”

Crystal Rubenstein, Science teacher
Wauconda Grade School
Wauconda, Illinois

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

Cindy Gallaher