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New Rainbow Safety Squad Brings Health and Safety Messages to Local Schools Through High Energy, Interactive Assemblies

Friday, November 7, 2014

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital brings abstract concepts to life as students learn through experiments, demonstrations, and games

Kids are surrounded by rules everyday, an endless list of DOs and DON’Ts: DO wear a seat belt, DON’T spend more than 2 hours a day in front of a screen, DO wear a bike helmet, DON’T run at the pool, and on and on. Too often, safety rules can seem arbitrary and meaningless to kids who just want to have fun. University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is about to change that, with an exciting new program—the Rainbow Safety Squad—that engages kids as active learners and junior scientists through action packed multimedia school assemblies. The Rainbow Safety Squad officially launches with two shows at local schools on Tuesday, November 11.

When Safety Squad team members visit elementary schools for high energy interactive assemblies on different health and safety topics, they give new life to subjects and concepts kids are learning about in the classroom. “Any parent who has sat down to help a grade schooler with homework has heard these complaints before: Why do I need to know this? When will I ever use it in real life?,” explains Patricia DePompei, President of Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. “The Rainbow Safety Squad assemblies answer those questions and show kids how the things they’re learning in science, math, or health class are part of our everyday experiences even when we don’t realize it.” Available topics include motor vehicle crash physics, bicycle safety, water safety, sports safety, and physical activity, with lessons tailored to different grade levels and aligned with academic content standards to enhance the learning experience.

The program is made possible through a grant from Cliffs Natural Resources, a company headquartered in Cleveland and major iron ore producer in the Great Lakes region and significant producer of high- and low-volatile metallurgical coal in the U.S. “We’re so grateful to Cliffs Natural Resources for making it possible to launch this innovative project that teaches health and safety topics to elementary school students in such a fun and interactive way,” said DePompei. The grant from Cliffs allows Rainbow to keep fees low for all schools and funds a limited number of stipends to bring assemblies free of charge to Cuyahoga County schools in which 60% or more of the student body receive free or reduced cost lunches.

“Cliffs Natural Resources is proud to be part of the Rainbow Safety Squad that promises to bring health and safety messages to kids at school in a unique and engaging way,” said P. Kelly Tompkins, Executive Vice President of Business Development. “Considering that safety is Cliffs’ number one core value and that education is a priority in our philanthropic cause areas, our partnership with University Hospitals in the Rainbow Safety Squad seemed like a perfect match. We really hope this program provides children with an exciting learning experience that will nicely complement their classroom work.”

The new Rainbow Safety Squad launches Tuesday, November 11 with high energy, interactive performances at two local schools:

  • St. Mary’s Elementary, 265 Baker St., Berea
    Presenting The Science of Kids in Cars for grades 1-2 at 10 am
    In this hands-on and highly visual assembly, kids explore motor vehicle crash physics and the importance of seat belts and booster seats for protecting motor vehicle passengers.
  • St. Albert the Great School, 6667 Wallings Rd., North Royalton
    Presenting Get Up and Move! for kindergartners at 2:30 pm
    In this action-packed assembly, kids learn the importance of getting at least 60 minutes of exercise daily and find out how fun staying active can be.

For more information about Rainbow Safety Squad assemblies or to schedule your session, contact the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Injury Prevention Center at 216-983-1110.

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