BOSTON, April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston Marathon principal sponsor John Hancock, with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF New England region, today hosted Scholars & Stars in Boston at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.
Olympian and Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi joined Boston Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Chang and John Hancock officials to celebrate the students' leadership in UNICEF Kid Power as well as the international and physical aspects of Boston Marathon. During the event, the students learned school yard games from five countries including: Shaky Shaky Shake Your Body (Ghana); Chinese Ball (China); Doorkeeper (Afghanistan); Mar y Tierra (Spain) and a Soccer Relay Race (USA).
All students at the event participated in UNICEF Kid Power Boston, a school-based program that allows kids to get active and save lives. Kids earn points for being active and the points unlock funding from UNICEF Kid Power sponsors and supporters, which is used by UNICEF to deliver lifesaving packets of therapeutic food to severely malnourished children around the world. John Hancock is the City Sponsor of the program for Boston.
"We are proud to partner with the Boston Public Schools and UNICEF on this innovative program, and to offer this great event around the Boston Marathon," said James Gallagher, general counsel and chief administrative officer, John Hancock. "UNICEF Kid Power's unique approach motivates children through fun technology that builds on their desire to help others. Meb's uplifting story and the international elements of the Boston Marathon will only reinforce the importance of physical fitness, while encouraging more help for those UNICEF serves overseas."
"I am honored to join John Hancock to support the UNICEF Kid Power program," said Keflezighi. "Having our youth working to get active while contributing to the elimination of global malnutrition is a great combination. There is so much more meaning to our personal goals when they are tied to helping others."
"Every step that Boston kids took as part of the UNICEF Kid Power school program brought us one step closer to ending global malnutrition, and we're so excited that we can celebrate their incredible impact today," said Matthew Bane, managing director, New England region, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "UNICEF Kid Power is a powerful education and global citizenship opportunity for students that also allows the Boston community to be engaged and invested in our local kids' continued efforts to get active and save lives."
"I extend my gratitude to John Hancock and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for supporting Kid Power in Boston," said Superintendent Chang. "This initiative offers our students an opportunity to be healthy and active, to study other cultures, and take on a philanthropic approach to helping others. They will have a positive impact on the world, and we're glad to be a part of this movement of generosity and kindness."
The ten schools participating were the Blakstone Innovation School, Boston; Curley K8 School Jamaica Plain; James F. Condon Elementary School, South Boston; Josiah Quincy Elementary School, Boston; Paul Dever Elementary School, Dorchester; Dave A. Ellis Elementary School, Roxbury; Mendell Elementary School, Roxbury; Orchard Gardens Pilot School, Roxbury; Samuel Mason Elementary School, Roxbury; and McKinley Elementary School, Boston.
In addition to Scholars & Stars in Boston, John Hancock conducts many community initiatives in conjunction with the Marathon, including the Scholars & Stars in Hopkinton at Elmwood Elementary School in Hopkinton, and the John Hancock Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program.
About UNICEF Kid Power
UNICEF Kid Power gives kids the power to save lives. By getting active with the UNICEF Kid Power Band, kids go on missions to earn points and unlock therapeutic food packets for severely malnourished children around the world. UNICEF Kid Power is a program of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and is made possible through the generous support of Presenting Sponsors Star Wars: Force of Change and Target as well as local supporters, parents and fans. Kid Power is also supported by Founding Partners The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF and Calorie Cloud, in addition to Program Partners Ammunition Group and Design Group Italia. For more information, visit www.unicefkidpower.org/
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.com
About Meb Keflezighi
The 2014 Boston Marathon champion, Keflezighi is the only U.S. male to have won the Boston and New York City Marathons and an Olympic medal (silver, 2004). With his recent second-place finish at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, Keflezighi will compete on his fourth Olympic team this summer.
About John Hancock Financial and Manulife
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were C$935 billion (US$676 billion) as at December 31, 2015. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
SOURCE John Hancock Financial