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.
In May, the UNICEF Kid Power Schools program reached a new 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.
UNICEF Kid Power enables student activists to provide humanitarian relief that fights childhood malnutrition. Destiny, Ja/Nay and Tatyanna, middle schoolers at Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg, Florida, wear their blue UNICEF Kid Power Bands so their every move counts toward helping malnourished children around the world. Students earn points for their physical activity, which unlock Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food packets UNICEF delivers to children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. © Sarah McDonald
Kids unlock the packets just by playing and running around. 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,” says Yingda, a third-grader from New York City who took part in daily activities with his classmates to earn as many points as possible this spring.
In May, UNICEF Kid Power Month, these 4th grade global citizens unlocked 1,375 therapeutic food packets to save the lives of nine children. Bravo! © Missy Pierce
Teachers say they love combining increasing students' physical activity with lessons about other countries and cultures where UNICEF works helping children not only survive, but also thrive. The addition this year of the UNICEF Kid Power Up classroom videos has afforded them a new way to give students impactful "brain breaks" that keep them energized and motivated to learn and do even more to help others.
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,” Law says. Seeing her whole class moving together, she adds, brings her joy. "They're competing in a positive way — the more they compete, the more it benefits other[s]."
Many teachers and other team leaders report that being able to help their peers around the world with UNICEF Kid Power has inspired kids to see what else they can do to have a local social impact. "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." A 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.
Throughout UNICEF Kid Power Month, program participants as well as new recruits had an opportunity to connect with each other at special events. On May 6, for example, UKP teamed up with the Chicago White Sox for some pre-game 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 at SPiN ping pongs clubs in Philadelphia, San Francisco and elsewhere.
On May 6, UNICEF Kid Power teamed up with the Chicago White Sox for some pre-game fun. Other events throughout UNICEF Kid Power month offered an opportunity for UKP kids to cheer on their athletic heroes — while celebrating their own heroic achievements, getting active to save lives. © UNICEF USA