In mid-2015 the James N. Kirby Foundation generously provided a grant to support That Sugar Film’s schools outreach program. School-aged children consume around 35% of their total daily energy intake from food and beverages consumed on school premises. Most schools operate a canteen or tuckshop and many have on-site vending machines, making them the largest takeaway food network in Australia.
That Sugar Film presents the facts about sugar in an entertaining and accessible way, providing ideal stimulus material for teachers wanting to explore food and nutrition content in years 5-10. The film’s release presented a unique opportunity to actively engage primary and secondary school communities with the issue of excess sugar consumption and provide practical tools to help schools become healthier environments for both students and staff.
The grant allowed us to redevelop the schools section of our website into a vibrant interactive hub to support rollout of That Sugar Film’s School Action Toolkit and our ongoing schools engagement initiatives. The Schools section of the website can be viewed here: www.thatsugarfilm.com/schools.
Redevelopment of the schools section involved creating three interconnected pages populated with content-rich features including personal messages from Damon, videos, teacher testimonials and an interactive ‘Activated Schools’ map. The main landing page provides an overview of the schools program and available resources for teachers and school communities; The School Action Toolkit page provides further information about the teaching resources, offering a free download of our study guide and inviting feedback from teachers who are using the resources. The Competition page outlines our active schools engagement initiatives and encourages school participation.
Currently we are running a That Sugar Song Competition, which invites schools to create their own version of the music video that appears at the end of the film. Schools are provided with a range of resources to inspire and assist them in creating their own interpretation of the song and video. Video submissions will be shortlisted for judging by a panel of celebrity judges, with the finalists uploaded to the website for audience voting. Our Schools program has been a huge success, with our School Action Toolkit being utilized by 900+ schools nationally within a year of launch.
The website enhancements we were able to implement as a result of the foundation’s generous support have been critical to this success. We are currently planning a range of engagement activities that will be rolled out across the 2017 school year and the website will be a key tool in activating new schools and driving ongoing engagement.
Writer/Director, That Sugar Film