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Whitney Cross, Chicago Community Engagement Fellow
In late November, I had the opportunity to share UNICEF Kid Power while co-hosting the game show Body Parts at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Filmed in Lurie’s Children’s Family Life Center, a treatment-free zone within the hospital, Body Parts airs every Monday to a live studio audience and in patient rooms throughout the hospital. The space is equipped with an art center, parent room, learning space and even a beauty salon for children to use during their stay at Lurie Children’s. The concept that drove the creation of this space is the same that drives UNICEF to create child-friendly spaces around the world: children who are refugees, patients, migrants and survivors are all, first and foremost, children. For this reason, the Family Life Center, just like UNICEF’s child-friendly spaces, is designed to let kids be kids.
I joined the Body Parts host, Extra Technician Tracey, on the set, which displays a life-size human body and an impressive prize cart. The show makes children laugh while they learn about anatomy and allows them to participate from their patient rooms or in the live audience. When children fill their game cards, they call in and recite their game-winning card and choose a prize. As the co-host, I talked to the children about UNICEF Kid Power, which, similar to Body Parts, aims to make health education exciting and interactive.
UNICEF Kid Power was inspired by the fact that one in four American kids is inactive, while at the same time, one in four kids around the world is malnourished. Addressing both issues, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF created the world’s first “wearable for good.” By getting active with the UNICEF Kid Power band, kids can go on missions, earn points and unlock therapeutic food packets for severely malnourished children around the world. I loved sharing this exciting campaign with the children at Lurie Children’s and was happy to raffle off a band for one lucky winner.
Here in Chicago, we look forward to continuing to work with Lurie Children’s—an organization that shares in UNICEF’s mission to put children first.