On Wednesday, April 13th, 2016, Boston elementary school students joined together to play school yard games from countries around the world at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center. The Scholars & Stars event, hosted by John Hancock and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF New England region, celebrated the students' leadership in UNICEF Kid Power as well as the 2016 Boston Marathon.
Students were joined by Boston Marathon champion, Meb Keflezighi, Boston Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Tommy Chang, John Hancock officials, and U.S. Fund for UNICEF staff. The Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center was divided into stations, with each station dedicated to a school yard game from five countries including: Shaky Shaky Shake Your Body (Ghana); Chinese Ball (China); Doorkeeper (Afghanistan); Mar y Tierra (Spain) and a Soccer Relay Race (USA). To see school children in Ghana play Shaky Shaky Shake Your Body, watch the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIBAtJdTUjs
All students at the event belonged to leading classrooms participating in UNICEF’s Kid Power Boston, a school-based program that allows kids to get active and save lives. By being physically active with the UNICEF Kid Power Band—a child-friendly fitness band—kids go on missions to learn about new cultures and earn points. Points unlock funding from partners, parents and fans, and funds are used by UNICEF to deliver lifesaving packets of therapeutic food to severely malnourished children around the world. The more kids move, the more points they earn, the more lives they save. John Hancock is the proud City Sponsor of the program for Boston.
According to Matthew Bane, Managing Director of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, New England Region, "UNICEF Kid Power is a powerful education and global citizenship opportunity for students that also allows the Boston community to be engaged and invested in our local kids' continued efforts to get active and save lives".
After a full 60 mins of being active and having fun, the 200 students achieved a total of 6,000 steps, earning and unlocking one therapeutic food packet. It takes a lot of steps to unlock one therapeutic food packet but it is definitely worth it, knowing that these packets really do save severely malnourished children around the world.
James Gallagher, John Hancock’s general counsel and chief administrative officer, states, "UNICEF Kid Power's unique approach motivates children through fun technology that builds on their desire to help others. Meb's uplifting story and the international elements of the Boston Marathon will only reinforce the importance of physical fitness, while encouraging more help for those UNICEF serves overseas".
The ten schools that participated in the Stars & Scholars event include the Blakstone Innovation School, Boston; Curley K8 School Jamaica Plain; James F. Condon Elementary School, South Boston; Josiah Quincy Elementary School, Boston; Paul Dever Elementary School, Dorchester; Dave A. Ellis Elementary School, Roxbury; Mendell Elementary School, Roxbury; Orchard Gardens Pilot School, Roxbury; Samuel Mason Elementary School, Roxbury; and McKinley Elementary School, Boston.
It was a proud day for BPS students for they took the opportunity to be healthy and active, to study other cultures, and take on a philanthropic approach to helping others. What a productive Wednesday!