According to the latest nationwide statistics, West Virginia ranks first in the nation for diabetes, angina, and heart attacks, and second for obesity. However, these health problems are not limited to West Virginia. Studies show that there is an epidemic of childhood obesity in this country and it is just as severe as in our adults. While there are ongoing efforts to reduce adult obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, we must find a way of educating our children so that we can prevent these diseases from occurring as they reach adulthood. Therefore, it is essential that we focus on health and nutritional education in the formative years.
Although there has been a lot of discussion about this subject, it has been difficult to create a program that will work to reduce this nationwide crisis. We believe that the Abracadabra Series is a way of introducing health and nutrition, as well as safety and science to our young children, and that it will be an effective platform for educating our children in a fun and entertaining way—providing, healthy messages, educational materials, and role models from whom our children can learn.
Abracadabra has is endorsed by the West Virginia Department of Education.
Goals of the Program
While every episode will focus on a specific theme, the educational goals of Abracadabra are to:
- Provide information in a fun format about good nutrition and safety issues.
- Help children develop skills to cope with and resolve problems and issues commonly experienced by today's kids.
- Heighten children's curiosity and desire to explore through the use of magic and science segments, and provide simple examples to do at home.
- Introduce characters that children can identify with and feature these characters working through and resolving issues.
- Enhance children's sensitivity to others through the interaction of a diverse group of characters from all walks of life.
- Utilize music and magic to introduce children to the arts.
- Encourage interaction and participation with activities children and their parents or siblings can do at home. This hands-on learning will reinforce the message of the show.
Stimulating Creative Thought
As children watch the program, they will follow through a problem-solving process along with the characters. Through science, magic, nutrition, humor and music, Abracadabra will stimulate children's creative thoughts.
Instructional Content Developed by a Team of Professionals
We put together a consulting team of educators, health educators, physicians, nutritionists, and an exercise physiologist to help develop the appropriate content for the series. This includes:
Specific components of the Abracadabra show designed to address health and nutrition
- Every episode has a minute of exercise where one of the characters turns to the camera and asks the viewers to get out of their chairs and exercise along with the kids on the show as they work out to an original song, which talks about the importance of exercising. This interaction gets our children up and moving making exercise fun!
- Episodes show how to make healthy snacks that are easy to put together, fun to eat, and nutritious.
- Through multiple games, such as: the Make A Healthy Choice Game, Grocery Shelf Game, the My Plate Game, and the More Or Less Game viewers will see how much sugar, salt and fat there is in various foods, and learn to make healthy choices.
- Every episode has a "commercial" that focuses on a fruit or vegetable, exploring their nutrition and some fun facts about them.
A segment to encourage children to get excited about science
- Every episode has a simple, safe science experiment that kids can do at home or at school with a little supervision. Through these experiments, children can explore the world of science in a fun and interesting manner. This helps develop analytic skills and increases curiosity.
Learning about life
Learning about friends, family, communication, safety, and other concepts important to the intellectual growth and development of our children ages 4 to 10.
- Each episode has an underlying theme. Through the interactions with the characters and the events that occur during the show, children learn valuable lessons such as: "the best person they can be is themselves!", or that "the best treasure they can have is their family and friends", and that, "in order to make a friend, you have to be a friend."
- At the end of every episode, Joey talks to Mike about what he learned that day. This reinforces the important lessons and messages that were delivered during the episode.
- As the episode closes, Mike reminds everyone that the "Real magic is in you!" This gives children the message that they become whatever they want. The ability is there, they just have to recognize it and use it!