Allergic Girl: What is this new project - "Kyle Dine & Friends" Food Allergy Education for Schools DVD about?
Kyle Dine: It's an allergy awareness video that is aimed at children filled with songs, puppets and games. It's a two-disc DVD set aimed at kids ages 4-7 & 8-11 respectively, with age-appropriate content. The video is a mix of entertainment and education that gets important messages across while increasing support, understanding and empathy.
AG: Who is "Kyle Dine & Friends" Food Allergy Education for Schools geared towards/who is your ideal audience?
KD: The ideal audience is any elementary school classroom. I've received wonderful reviews from teachers who have shown the video to their class. Students (both allergic and non-allergic) were engaged, clapping along and participating in the follow-up quiz at the end.
AG: What do you hope "Kyle Dine & Friends" Food Allergy Education for Schools will accomplish?
KD: A general understanding about food allergies, and support for the children who have them. I hear so often that peer support can be the biggest influence in a child's perspective of their own food allergies and risk-management. This is the video that I would have LOVED to exist when I was a kid. I was too shy to tell my entire class about the ins and outs about allergies. A video featuring a guy with a guitar, hilarious puppets and fun games would have helped a ton.
AG: How did this project come about?
KD: Schools eager to have more allergy awareness for their students. I performed live food allergy awareness assemblies at 100 schools during the last school year. It's encouraging to see that type of interest in education, but an insane amount of travel for one roaming musician/educator! Schools are looking for a "just press play" solution to a growing issue within schools. This video can reach more students than I could ever while criss-crossing the continent.
AG: How is this project different that what you've done before?
KD: This project has been a complete community effort and I am so proud of the number of people and organizations who were a part of it. The video was funded by the allergy community through Kickstarter. The educational themes were fine-tuned by an online working group of 125 allergy advocates. The final script was reviewed by FARE, Food Allergy Canada, Anaphylaxis & Allergy Australia and the Anaphylaxis Campaign (U.K.). Additional funding and distribution support came through various allergy-aware sponsors as well as KFA and FAACT. This project brought one very large community together because they all believe in the importance of educating children about food allergies. I'm proud to give back by offering 20% of the DVD sales back to food allergy non-profits.
AG: Is there anything else included with the video?
KD: One of the neatest features is that the audio is fully dubbed in Spanish, French and German. This will help raise awareness with ESL schools and in foreign markets too. There is also a quiz within the bonus features to reinforce key messages. I'm also happy to partner with Food Allergy Canada in creating a teacher resource guide which is available on the video's website.
AG: What is your songwriting process?
KD: I first think what is the message that children with food allergies need to hear to help them stay safe and positive. Songs like "Never Keep a Reaction a Secret", "Able to Read a Label" and "Stop! Please Don't Feed Me" are examples. Music, lyrics and melody seem to just flow from there. I often joke that while many musicians write from the heart, I write from the immune system!
AG: Where do you find your inspiration?
KD: Kids with food allergies. I remember how tough it was growing up dealing with exclusion, teasing and feeling like a burden because of something I couldn't control. Knowing that life gets easier when non-allergic children simply receive allergy education is all the motivation I need to give them the facts in a fun and engaging way.
AG: Where can I purchase this for my school?
KD: You can purchase at www.foodallergyvideo.com and donate to a non-profit, or Amazon.com.
As always, thank you Kyle for your hard work, dedication and overall excellent allergy dude-ness!