Monday, September 24, 2012
HealthTeacher recently released the first-ever interactive, pro-social mobile game to address one of the nation’s leading issues affecting youth: bullying. This game titled “Awesome Upstander!” encourages young kids to race through a school cafeteria and bathroom to help rescue a target from a bully. Along the way, players must collect enough friends to stand up to the bully together.
“Awesome Upstander! offers a highly entertaining play experience for kids while teaching them they have the power to diminish bullying by banning together as upstanders," said John Herbold, VP Product of HealthTeacher. "Kids tell us Awesome Upstander! is fun to play, and parents say it gives them peace of mind knowing their children are learning how to deal with an issue affecting the emotional and physical safety of their kids."
Filled with challenges, levels, hidden objects and fun sound effects, Awesome Upstander! is designed to engage kids just like other popular interactive games while promoting social good. At the Awesome Upstander! website www.awesomeupstander.com, teachers can download supporting material for their classroom, and parents can download resources for teaching their kids about upstanding at home.
Baptist Health Systems in Jackson, Miss. partnered with HealthTeacher last year, providing high quality health education resources for teachers, school nurses, and school counselors in 18 counties in central MS. HealthTeacher is an online resource of lessons and interactive tools that help kids live well. Lessons cover relevant youth health issues and are designed to engage students and fold seamlessly into the classroom setting. Baptist is the only hospital in Mississippi offering this program.
“As the 2012/2013 school year kicked-off, we continue to work with the funded school districts providing HealthTeacher access and training,” added Shay Lewis, Health Education Coordinator for Mississippi. “The new interactive anti-bullying game is a powerful tool for engaging kids and teaching them how to make a stand against bullying. The video game can be played at home or in the classroom setting and works hand in hand with HealthTeacher’s lesson plans centered on the topic of bullying.”
According to a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), 1.6 million children in grades 6 through 10 in the United States are bullied at least once a week and 1.7 million children bully others as frequently. Bullying most often occurs where adult supervision is low or absent: schoolyards, cafeterias, bathrooms, hallways, and stairwells. According to the U.S. Department of
Justice’s “Bullying in Schools” report, only 10 to 20 percent of non-involved students provide any real help when another student is victimized.
Bullying has been a hot topic in Mississippi during the last few years. In 2010, the Mississippi legislature passed Senate Bill 2015, requiring public schools to adopt an anti-bullying policy, prohibiting bullying or harassing behavior in schools. Mary Ann Simpkins, Director of Community Education for HealthTeacher stated that “Awesome Upstander! is a great teaching tool for supporting MS anti-bullying policies and addressing the real-life issues of bullying in our schools. We all want our children to thrive and succeed in a safe environment, free of danger or barriers to learning. It is important to educate all kids about the importance of standing up for someone being bullied and to encourage them to be an upstander, not a bystander.”
Dr. Susan Lipkins, child psychologist and leading expert in the development of Awesome Upstander!, believes playing this game can set the standards for teaching elementary-aged kids how to be an upstander, a person who knows how to intervene in a bully situation in a safe and positive manner. According to Dr. Lipkins, "Bystanders are the answer...we're all bystanders. And when bystanders are empowered and they learn how to prevent and intervene in bullying, I think we're going to see a change."
Awesome Upstander! is brought to you by HealthTeacher, the interactive leader in youth health. AwesomeUpstander! can be played online for free at www.awesomeupstander.com, or purchased in the Apple App Store or Google Play for $.99.
ABOUT AWESOME UPSTANDER!
Awesome Upstander!, the first-ever anti-bullying game for young kids, is the most fun way to learn how to deal with bullies. Awesome Upstander! is a side-scrolling adventure where players must race through school cafeterias and bathrooms to rescue a target from a bully. To successfully rescue the target, players must collect enough friends to become upstanders and stand up to the bully together.
ABOUT BAPTIST HEALTH SYSTEMS’ HEALTHTEACHER PARTNERSHIP
Baptist joined forces with teachers throughout 34 school districts in central Mississippi to make it easy for them to teach good health habits to children. Funded by Baptist Health Foundation, the project includes health education materials and professional development for K-12 schools, preschools, after school programs, and community organizations. The 2007 Healthy Students Act requires that all schools implement 45 minutes of Health Education per week, and 150 minute of physical education/physical activity per week in grades K-8. It also requires half Carnegie Unit of Health Education and Physical Education in high school for graduation. Baptist Health Systems is the parent company of Baptist Medical Center, The Mississippi Hospital for Restorative Care and a number of related healthcare services and programs. For over 100 years, Baptist Medical Center has served Mississippi and the surrounding states as a Christian-based, non-profit comprehensive medical Center.
HealthTeacher is the interactive leader in youth health, creating games, apps, and educational resources to make health awesome for kids. HealthTeacher's research based products are designed to get kids moving and to develop healthy behaviors that last a lifetime. Reaching over 6 million kids through its fast-growing network of 11,000+ schools, HealthTeacher’s interactive products are used by teachers, parents, and kids to address important youth health issues, including physical activity, nutrition, and social and emotional well-being. To learn more, visit www.healthteacher.com.
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