The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 1, 2013

Students to hear healthy message via music

BY CAROL ROEHM
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — On Friday afternoon, South View Middle School students will be encouraged through music to live a healthier life.

The 90-minute Music Saved My Life youth program, sponsored by the American Cancer Society in Illinois, will be the focus of an all-school assembly starting at 1:30 p.m. Friday in South View’s cafetorium.

South View Principal Brenda Yoho said a former student, Trenton Reed, who now works for the American Cancer Society, made the program possible for South View students.

Through the power of music and the partnering with various artists, the American Cancer Society’s initiative provides an innovative method of delivering healthy behavioral messages to young people in grades K-12.

The program aims to empower young people to make positive decisions and adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as eating right, getting physically active and advocating against tobacco use.

Specific messages include:

“It’s about making healthy choices, staying fit and not smoking,” Yoho said of the program. “Our PE department has been very supportive in getting kids to make healthy choices.”

The program also is a culmination and a celebration of a schoolwide effort that started last month with students participating in various activities — such as coin collections in the classrooms, a hat day and a jeans day for the staff — to raise money for the American Cancer Society, Yoho said.

“We felt good about doing this,” she said. “We’ve got employees and families who have been affected by cancer. It’s about taking the time to make the world a better place.”

Yoho added, “A rapper will come in to entertain the students as a thank you and to celebrate awareness of healthy choices.”

Performing on Friday is AfroFlow, which means flowing from Africa, is an interactive live stage show that recognizes Hip-hop’s indigenous cultural roots and inspirational messages as well as emphasizes the importance of making healthy decisions and advocating against tobacco.

The production is created and developed by Mike Ellison — known as MIKE-E — and features the crowd-rocking DJ Invisible and an array of drummers and dancers.