February 16, 2011
To Whom It May Concern,
I first became interested in Mr. Scott's Rollie Robin Obesity Prevention Program after completing our county's Health Department IPLAN, which is a five-year plan based on a county's health needs and prioritized by a committee. Obesity was ranked as the number one health issue for our county, as our county's obesity rate is higher than the state's, and Illinois is number four in the nation for obese 10-17 year olds.
It then became my goal to find a way to help educate the county's children about healthy eating and exercise. As a retired first grade teach of 33 years, I knew the importance of:
- Beginning at a young age.
- Repitition of the skill or message through a variety of activities.
- Keeping lessons high interest and fun.
During some email correspondence with Mr. Scott about Samantha Skunk, he asked if I had looked at the Rollie Robin website. I said that I would and "BINGO!" there was the launching point for my goal! Rollie was perfect for lower elementary students; with his eye-catching costume, captivating story, and the opportunity for students to practice Rollie's message, "Healthy Eating, Lots of Play".
After receiving and reading the Rollie material, I knew Rollie could make a difference in children's lives. Mr. Scott created the program in a way that allows it to be expanded and enriched in a variety of ways, depending on the desires of the presenter/teacher and time limitations. A classroom teacher has the option to begin with Rollie telling his story and then incorporating it into math, georgraphy, reading, health, creative writing, etc. A simpler option is to begin with Rollie telling his story and the teacher sending home weekly journal pages to monitor the progress of each student or team and record their progress on the banner.
My decision to use Rollie and his story and expand it into a nine week curriculum for grades K-3. Each week Rollie presents a grade-appropriate lesson based on Rollie's initial message, "Healthy Eating, Lots of Play". Lessons focus on areas as MyPyramid and the different food groups, identifying foods that go in each food group, discerning healthy/unhealthy foods and activities, portions vs. serving, and comparing food labels. Each lesson also includes an "exercise with Rollie" time and concludes with a healthy snack.
Rollie Robin and his story provide an eye-catching, high interest focal point around which numerous lessons, activities, and most importantly, positive lifestyle changes can occur. I am honored to be using Rollie Robin to help fight obesity in children, who are our future.
Anita McKelvey, B.A., M.A.
Henderson County Health Department