On September 24, 2011, Nickelodeon and Big Brother Big Sister joined forces for The “Worldwide Day of Play” aimed at promoting health and wellness to the nation’s children. Events took place across the nation with First Lady Michelle Obama and NBA stars, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthonycelebrating in Washington, D.C. and NFL stars Joe Morris and Kris Jenkins lending their star power to the cause in New York City.
While Michelle Obama taped a public-service skit with boy band Big Time Rush and NBA star LebronJames played alongside kids in D.C., retired New York Giants star, Joe Morris, shook hands and took pictures with children in NYC. He spoke exclusively to CocoandCreme.com about his mission to get children active, healthy and motivated to strive for their dreams: “People pay money to see our game, cheer and give us support. This is our chance to give back to the community by supporting a cause,” Morris said. “People look up to us as athletes but they should look up to the people of Big Brother Big Sister who give their time to volunteer and mentor others. If you give your time and volunteer that means you really care. That’s why we’re out here supporting the Worldwide Day of Play.”
The Worldwide Day of Play featured games and obstacle courses along with concerts and appearances by Nickelodeon stars like “Dora The Explorer” and “Spongebob Squarepants” in costume.Volunteers from Greek organizations, Iota Phi Theta, Inc. and Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc., were also on hand to mentor and play games with the youth in the community. “The youth are our future. We need to encourage kids to live a healthy lifestyle and pursue their educational goals to become better people and lead us later in life,” said Christopher Regent of Iota Phi Theta.
Sigma Gamma Rho member, Charline Mitchell, was passionate about healthy living as championed byher organization’s Project Reassurance program and Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign . “Obesity is an issue that largely affects the African-American community,” Mitchell said. “If we instill in our children that being healthy is ideal, they’ll pass that down to future generations.”
Children like Amanda Hannah, age 9, thoroughly enjoyed the “Worldwide Day of Play.” “I got to meet Dora The Explorer, draw on the chalkboard and make my own lunchbox,” Hannah told CocoandCreme.com. As for the cause of healthy living and education, Hannah said, “I love to play and to dance. And school is important to me because I’m going to grow up and be a doctor.”