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Spotlight on Education: Visible Men Academy Selected for National Zamzee Pilot Program


BRADENTON – Visible Men Academy kindergarten, first and second grade students are some of the youngest participants in a nationwide pilot program to promote wellness.

On October 19, 2013, KaBOOM! together with Visible Men Academy built a new playground on the VMA campus. To continue support and encourage play, KaBOOM! is working with Zamzee, a social enterprise dedicated to improving kids’ health, for a limited program intended to have kids participate in active play every day. Zamzee is a research-proven game designed to get kids moving. Research shows that kids using Zamzee increased their physical activity by 59%. With this in mind, KaBOOM! recognizes Zamzee as a tool to encourage active play and promote children’s lifelong social, emotional and physical well-being.

Starting Tuesday January 7th, 2014 and daily for six weeks, every Visible Men Academy student will clip on the Zamzee meter when they arrive at 7:45 am and remove when they depart at 5:45 pm. As a single gender all-boys school, Visible Men Academy incorporates daily movement into the classroom curriculum allowing boys to move, daily PE classes for all grades and two 10- minute “Solar Time” breaks during the day where students run and play on the newly built KaBoom! playground, throw the footballs or play tag. 

“100% of the students and faculty have signed up to take on the Zamzee challenge, according to Physical Education teacher, Coach Keron Gordon. This is fun to watch the students take on the faculty and challenge them for points.” Through measuring points through the Zamzee meters, students & faculty can earn and select prizes posted on line and in addition VMA earns PE equipment.

VMA students are in school 30% longer than traditional public schools, in addition to spending more time in technology and advancing academic achievement, students participate more in play. VMA believes some of the most important learning in childhood takes place outside the classroom, on the playground. Recent research shows that children develop important cognitive and social skills while playing. Students will develop longer attention spans, IQ Growth and stronger social interaction.

Daily challenges are posted on the Zamzee website which students & faculty can access during the day through their ipads to score points. “We conducted a 3 day trial before holiday break and the students would come into my office and challenge me, we are all moving! VMA has a commitment to wellness for our students, families and faculty. KaBoom! and Zamzee share the same vision-this is a wonderful beneficial program for everyone involved,” states Director of Development Cindy Cavallaro Day.

For more information on Visible Men Academy, please call 941-758-7588 or visit vmacademy.org

Visible Men Academy opens enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year January 8th, 2014. VMA is located 921 63rd Avenue East, Bradenton, Florida 34203.

Other information:

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to the bold goal of ensuring that all children, particularly the 16 million American children living in poverty, get the active play they need to become healthy and successful adults.


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