(Wheaton, IL january 1, 2017) -- ProActive Kids (PAK) Foundation is announcing its first initiative to fighting the growing childhood obesity epidemic through school partnership.  Joining forces on this partnership at this site is Advocate Children’s Hospital, headquartered in Oak Lawn, IL, and Dawes Elementary School, part of Chicago Public  Schools, also located in Oak Lawn.

Advocate Children’s Hospital will be provide critical funding to ProActive Kids to help support and deliver PAK’s three-tiered childhood obesity program.  With Advocate support, PAK will deliver fitness, nutritional and lifestyle training to children struggling with unhealthy weight.

ProActive Kids will work closely with the Dawes school nurse to identify a participant pipeline of overweight and obese students who are eligible for the program. Through conversation with the student’s parents, the school nurse and social worker will take the lead on enrolling the children in the program. At all other PAK locations, participants are referred by their doctors. The PAK program in Oak Lawn will only be offered to the students at Dawes Elementary.

“As the school nurse at Dawes School, I am on the front lines of the battle against childhood obesity. I have observed first hand, the problems that can occur when a child is overweight. Low self esteem, elevated cholesterol, and Type II diabetes, to name just a few, said Mary Beth Flaherty, RN, School Nurse at Dawes Elementary. “I am so excited that our students and their parents will have the opportunity to participate in the ProActive Kids program. How wonderful that they will be able to learn how to improve their health! Let the fun begin!”

ProActive kids participants are engaged in a variety of PAK PLAN activities on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for eight weeks:  PAK Fitness, PAK Nutrition and PAK Lifestyle.  Each educational lesson and fitness activity is designed to motivate kids to make healthy choices, while instilling positive behaviors they can use for life. On Fridays, PAK reinforces the importance of family by inviting members of the child’s family to show support by participating in the three PAK PLAN activities to learn how they, too, can benefit from and make healthier lifestyle changes. 

“Bringing the PAK program into the schools and working closely with the school nurse provides a new and extended continuum of care for the students in their long-term health goals,” said Nicki Klinkhamer, ProActive Kids Executive Director. “With the school nurse and social worker being actively involved in the program, learning all core lessons, ad being able to continue those conversations after the 8-week program ends will be incredibly helpful to the success of the child.”

Headquartered in Wheaton, IL , the PAK program is teaming with organizations across the country to execute its mission of reversing the obesity trend, one community at a time.  

If your organization would like to support a PAK site location in your community, please call 773-802-7005. 
For more information, or to enroll or refer, please visit

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