Tenacious Music-Based Nutrition Education Program Rocks a Generation
Contact: Jill Jayne FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
jill@jumpwithjill dot com
Direct: (800) 531-0760 x 3
Pittsburgh, PA, May 31, 2016 – On the heels of two Emmy nods and two Telly Award wins, the rock & roll nutrition show Jump with Jill has reached a milestone many small businesses never live long enough to enjoy: their 10th anniversary. Jump with Jill touts three touring casts, travels the world, and has won awards in both nutrition education and mainstream entertainment. To date, the Jump with Jill show has been performed 3,000 times for almost a million kids.
Jump with Jill debuted in 2006 in Central Park as a free street show as part of a master’s thesis project created by Jill Jayne, MS, RD who at the time was pursuing her credentials at Teachers College Columbia University. Her goal?
“To change the way we teach kids about health,” Jill answers frankly. “People can’t learn about how to make healthy changes if they are asleep due to excessive boredom.” To understand how groundbreaking Jill’s mission was, remember this was 2006. Childhood obesity was only recently declared an epidemic, Let’s Move was not yet in action, and Jamie Oliver had not yet crossed the pond.
When they call Jill “The Rockstar Nutritionist,” it’s not to be cute; another key element to the Jump with Jill origin story was also at play. Jill – along with her brother Mark – fronted a mainstream rock band with a shiny new record deal.
“Our A&R rep took a liking to my thesis project – songs that would become The Bone Rap and Beat of the Body,” explains Jill. “He embraced my weird and encouraged me to focus solely on writing a full album of nutrition-focused music. It meant we would be dropped from our original deal, but it also meant that I would retain all the rights to my music. It is a key decision responsible for our longevity because we own all of our backend and have complete creative control. I can do what is best for kids and answer only to them.” The first Jump with Jill record came out in 2008 and the nationwide touring began.
As their bookings grew to more than the two could handle, they began casting the show regionally by creating clones of themselves as Jills and DJs – that is finding fellow RDs and certified teachers that shared their passion for addressing the moral imperative of childhood obesity through the power of the arts.
It’s clear to see that they’ve refined their stage show, from the banners, lights, and rigging. Which all has to fit into a minivan. But what you don’t see has also been refined to make Jump with Jill the coolest place to work, boasting an impressive employee benefits package as well as extensive recruitment and training programs you can’t find at companies twice their size.
With more touring cast members, the Jaynes set to work on a powerful set of follow-up tools that could take the show into the classroom, which included danceable music videos, activity sheets, morning announcements, and cafeteria posters. To produce them, they relocated to a 9,000-square-foot warehouse in their hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. One of those video tools, Get Me Goin’, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2015. This year, The Sweet Beat, has been nominated for an Emmy Award in two categories. Excellence in production as well as nutrition education is what has made Jump with Jill sustainable for a generation of kids.
They moved from booking single shows with schools to developing partnerships with funders that could bring the show to schools at no cost. These partners include:
- Meijer’s Produce for Kids Campaign
- Milk Means More
- Healthy Sorghum
- National Watermelon Promotion Board
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Texas Department of Agriculture
“I’m surprisingly emotional as we approach this anniversary,” Jill writes. “This little idea grew so big and strong, to be a force in the nutrition education field. I guess it’s like watching your kids grow up and take on your best characteristics.”
About Jump with Jill
The world’s only rock & roll nutrition show Jump with Jill uses music and dance to celebrate healthy habits by transforming nutrition education into a live concert. Created by a Registered Dietitian and professional musician, Jump with Jill is both educationally sound and completely rock & roll. Behaviorally-focused and research-proven, the show creates a world where healthy is not just an important thing to do, but the cool thing to do. Learn more at jumpwithjill.com.