Physical inactivity contributes to 1 in 10 deaths in the UK. Childhood obesity rates are beyond critical in some boroughs and there has been a rise in mental health issues for young people. The UK rates poorly against 16 other countries in a survey about child happiness and emotional wellbeing. Businesses speak of a future generation not equipped with skills for the future workforce, and digital media is changing our social interactions, with a 6 year old now spending an average of over 6 hours a day on a screen. Public Health England state that for the first time ever we will outlive our younger generation.
The UN Rights of the Child mention the right for children to have a health education, an education that fosters their own individual talents and personalities, the freedom to express themselves, to have a voice and it be heard, and to have access to artistic and cultural activities.
Teachers tell us that if children don't access creative arts in schools, some of them never will. We believe in putting children at the heart of their communities and think there is power in schools and creative publics. We ask children to consider what message they want to send in 59 seconds about local health issues that matter to them, empowering communities to listen and act to health campaigns truly representative of their local demographic.
Challenge 59 has four key themes explored through dance as a vehicle for learning - Thinking (mental health), Feeling (emotional health), Relating (social health) and Being (spiritual health). We believe in the power of ownership to deepen engagement and make children responsible for creating the message, drawing up film storyboards and considering how to disseminate films in localities. Previous films have been shown on BBC Bigger Picture, British Film Institute and internationally, but perhaps more importantly children have shared them at conferences, in youth parliament, whole school assemblies, lessons, with families, other schools and local influencers.
Children have the opportunity to engage as performers, choreographers, filmmakers, editors, and advocates. Teachers can gain confidence in using dance as a vehicle to support children's learning for health, as well as creative processes being translatable to other curriculum areas.
We look forward to hearing about your needs!