To all the students, teachers, parents, families, sponsors, supporters and fans who took part in this year's UNICEF Kid Power Month: Thank you.
In classrooms and communities across the country, more and more kids are enthusiastically embracing the idea of helping others, and making a difference in the world — just by getting active.
Kids are getting active and saving lives with UNICEF Kid Power
In May, the 2018 UNICEF Kid Power Schools program reached a milestone — unlocking 1 million packets of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) to treat children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. More than 10 million packets have been unlocked since the start of the UKP movement four years ago, saving more than 70,000 lives.
Kids unlock the packets just by playing and running around. Every step, every leap, every jumping jack and plank pose counts. The activity is tracked by a UNICEF Kid Power Band or the free UNICEF Kid Power App. The more kids move, the more points they earn, the more packets they unlock — and the more lives they save.
I feel really proud that I'm helping kids all around the world.
“I feel really proud that I’m helping kids all around the world,” says Yingda, a third-grader from New York City who took part in daily activities with classmates to earn as many points as possible this spring.
Teachers say they love the opportunity to increase students' physical activity during the school day — to give them “brain breaks," using the new UNICEF Kid Power Up classroom videos. They say their classes also get a lot out of the UKP curriculum, which contains lessons about other countries and cultures, and how UNICEF works to help children survive and thrive.
Many young students are shocked to learn that so many kids around the world are malnourished, says Yingda's teacher, Grace Law. The Kid Power program "opens up the world a bit more for them,” she says. And it brings her joy to see her whole class moving together, and competing with one another to see who can move the most. "They're competing in a positive way,” Law is quick to add. “The more they compete, the more it benefits other[s].”
Helping others through the UNICEF Kid Power program has inspired many kids to look for ways to do more as global citizens
The experience of helping peers through the UNICEF Kid Power program has inspired many kids to look for ways to do more as global citizens, and for local social impact. One youngster from Klamath Falls, Oregon, walked 20 miles — some 40,000 steps! — earning UNICEF Kid Power points while collecting food for her local food bank.
“The children saved by Kid Power need our help — the more we get fit, the more they get fit," says Akio, a middle schooler from St. Petersburg, Florida. "This has helped me look for ways to help in my community, like planting trees to replace the ones that we lose after storms."
The children saved by Kid Power need our help — the more we get fit, the more they get fit.
Throughout UNICEF Kid Power Month, program participants and new recruits had an opportunity to connect with one another at special events. On May 6, for example, Kid Power teamed up with the Chicago White Sox for some pregame fun. May 19 was UNICEF Kid Power Day at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Other events were hosted by the Miami Marlins, LA Galaxy, and SPiN ping pong clubs in Philadelphia, San Francisco and elsewhere.
Top photo: New York City second-graders get moving to save lives through the UNICEF Kid Power program. © UNICEF USA/Kye Ehrilich