Mr. Zee Heads Down Under!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 17, 2013

aussiemrzeeaussiemrzeeSo, this is cool!

I just found out that my rhyming children’s video about processed food, “Mr. Zee’s Apple Factory,” is going to be incorporated into nutrition education materials that will be made available to Australian teachers seeking to meet the requirements of the Australia Curriculum for Health and Physical Education.  I’m told that the video could potentially reach almost 40,000 primary school students in the Australian Capital Territory.

When I released the video last May, it was with the hope that exactly this sort of thing might happen.  I wanted to create a completely free resource for parents and teachers to help inoculate young kids (pre-K through 6th grade) against the powerful allure of processed foods and Big Food’s advertising tactics.

Since the video’s release, several teachers have contacted me to tell me that they’ve shared the video with their students and that children have been engaged by it.  My contact in Australia told me:

During a pilot of the lessons I observed students watching the You Tube clip and they were all “glued” to the screen and were very interested in the clip. I believe it definitely “hit home” to them and quite possibly enlightened many of the kids.

Woo hoo!  :-)

If you haven’t yet watched Mr. Zee, please do check it out and, if you share the story with your children or students, I’d love to hear your feedback.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Hanna Saltzman December 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Congrats, Bettina! I love your story, especially how it both teaches kids about marketing and makes them excited to eat healthy foods (well, at least when I watch it and hear how sweet and crunchy the apple is, I want to eat an apple!). And I really like how Cooper goes to the center of town to spread the word about marketing, making activism seem awesome (as it is!). By the way, Hannah Robertson (the 9-year-old who spoke to McDonald’s CEO in May) just got on a list of girls changing the world–and like Cooper, she calls him out for “tricking” kids! http://towardthestars.com/blog/news/29-girls-became-famous-in-2013-you-will-not-believe-what-they-have-done/
Anyway, great work, and I’m delighted that so many students will see your film.

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Bettina Elias Siegel December 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Thank you, Hanna, and thanks for that link as well. It’s so great to see kids taking charge!

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