NEW YORK, NY, November 18, 2019 — The Online Physical Education Network (OPEN) and Hip Hop Public Health today announced the release of their latest collaboration on an early childhood movement program, Rhythm & Move. Designed to help children discover their “super powers,” the program uses comic books to tell the story of a class of young students who acquire special powers after they begin eating fruits and vegetables.
Leveraging art, music and science, the Rhythm & Move program follows the unconventional Multisensory Multilevel Health Education Model which was pioneered by Hip Hop Public Health Founder and Columbia University’s Chief of Staff of Neurology, Dr. Olajide Williams and Dr. Ewelina Swierad, Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “We live in an incredibly modern and diverse world but there is a big gap in how we address culture in our health interventions. By considering different social and ecological levels of influence, we can develop and deliver health education in a manner that optimizes its effectiveness,” said Dr. Willams.
Rhythm & Move was created to encourage physical activity, emotional and behavioral self-regulation, relationship-building and a balanced understanding of nutrition for preschool students. Readers will follow the story of a young boy named Trey, a “Super Helper” in Ms. G’s preschool who finds out that he has special powers every time he eats grapes. When a new student, Diya, is introduced to the class, Trey’s super power becomes very useful as he helps her get adjusted to her new class’ routines. Soon, Diya and the other students begin to discover their own unique powers as they start to eat different fruits and vegetables. Each comic book in the series is also paired with music and developmentally appropriate exercises to motivate and energize students.
“OPEN works tirelessly to elevate the physical and health literacy experiences of all children,” shared Aaron Hart, Executive Director of OPEN. “Rhythm & Move has an amazing story with characters that children will love and relate to. We are excited to partner with Hip Hop Public Health and build on their modern, evidence-based approach to health interventions to ensure preschoolers across the country benefit from our collaboration.”
OPEN and Hip Hop Public Health worked with a multidisciplinary team that included curriculum specialists, physical educators like Elyse Loughlin, graphic artists and a registered dietitian to align the overarching content themes of the program to the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five.
The first comic book of the six-part series which was illustrated by James Boland released today and is available for free on OPEN’s website to their membership of 75,000 teachers, with the potential to reach more than 35,000,000 students. The music that accompanies Rhythm & Move is also available for anyone to download and use for free on Hip Hop Public Health’s Resource Center.
“Incorporating music, movement, storytelling and dance into health education lays the foundation for creating healthy habits that can last a lifetime,” noted Lori Rose Benson, CEO & Executive Director of Hip Hop Public Health. “We’re thrilled to be able to make such a large impact by partnering with OPEN on this unique series of resources.”
Hip Hop Public Health
Hip Hop Public Health is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering positive health behavior change among youth. Working with artists such as Chuck D., Darryl DMC McDaniels, Ashanti and Ariana Grande, Hip Hop Public Health develops innovative, research-based media tools that equip young people with the knowledge and tools to make healthier life choices. Learn more about Hip Hop Public Health.
OPEN is a public service of BSN Sports with the mission of elevating physical literacy and health literacy for every child. OPEN provides professional development experiences and outcomes-based curriculum tools to more than 75,000 teachers world-wide. All resources are backward-designed from established student learning outcomes and seeks to help teachers help their students by providing rigorous, outcomes-based curriculum tools. OPEN’s development team is housed in the SUNY Cortland AMP Lab in Cortland, New York. Learn more about OPEN.
Dallas-based BSN SPORTS is the leading marketer, manufacturer and distributor of sporting goods apparel and equipment. A division of Varsity Brands, BSN SPORTS markets and distributes its products to over 100,000 institutional and team sports customers in colleges and universities, middle and high schools, and recreational programs throughout the United States via catalog, e-commerce, and direct sales. Focused on providing game-changing solutions through local partnerships, multi-brand selection and one-stop shopping for equipment and uniforms, BSN SPORTS’ more than 2,000 employees have been helping elevate participation in team sports since 1972. For more information about BSN SPORTS please visit www.bsnsports.com.
Press Release Contacts:
Executive Director, OPEN
Lori Rose Benson
CEO & Executive Director, Hip Hop Public Health