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MIAMI CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AND HEALTHTEACHER LAUNCH 'AWESOME UPSTANDER!,' FIRST ANTI-BULLYING MOBILE GAME FOR KIDS
(10/4/2012)

(Miami, FL) – Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) and HealthTeacher have launched the first-ever interactive, pro-social mobile game to address one of the nation’s leading issues affecting youth: bullying.  The Awesome Upstander! game encourages children to race through a school cafeteria and bathroom to help rescue a target from a bully. Along the way, players must collect enough friends to stand up to the bully together.

October is National Bullying prevention month and the Awesome Upstander app can be utilized to teach children that bullying can be prevented.  “Awesome Upstander! offers a highly entertaining play experience for kids while teaching them they have the power to diminish bullying by banning together as upstanders," said John Herbold, VP Product of HealthTeacher. "Kids tell us Awesome Upstander! is fun to play, and parents say it gives them peace of mind knowing their children are learning how to deal with an issue affecting the emotional and physical safety of their kids."

Filled with challenges, levels, hidden objects and fun sound effects, Awesome Upstander! is designed to engage kids just like other popular interactive games while promoting social good. At the Awesome Upstander! website, teachers can download supporting material for their classroom, and parents can download resources for teaching their kids about upstanding at home.

According to a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), 1.6 million children in grades 6 through 10 in the United States are bullied at least once a week and 1.7 million children bully others as frequently. Bullying most often occurs where adult supervision is low or absent: schoolyards, cafeterias, bathrooms, hallways, and stairwells. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Bullying in Schools” report, only 10 to 20 percent of non-involved students provide any real help when another student is victimized.

Dr. Sara Rivero-Conil, a clinical psychologist at Miami Children’s Hospital, says bullying can be direct, indirect, physical, verbal, or psychological. “The victim often feels vulnerable and may have exhausted ways to cease the bullying and is in dire need of support. The Awesome Upstander! provides awareness regarding bullying as well as the tools to intervene in a bullying situation. This is a great way to encourage children to be "upstanders" rather than bystanders,” she says.

MCH has partnered with HealthTeacher, an interactive leader in youth health, to bring educational resources to children in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

Awesome Upstander! can be played online for free at www.awesomeupstander.com, or purchased in the Apple App Store or Google Play for $.99.

ABOUT AWESOMEUPSTANDER!
Awesome Upstander!, the first-ever anti-bullying game for young kids, is the most fun way to learn how to deal with bullies. Awesome Upstander! is a side-scrolling adventure where players must race through school cafeterias and bathrooms to rescue a target from a bully. To successfully rescue the target, players must collect enough friends to become upstanders and stand up to the bully together. Awesome Upstander! can be played for free at awesomeupstander.com, or downloaded in the Apple App Store or Google Play for $0.99.

ABOUT MIAMI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Miami Children's Hospital® is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with more than 650 attending physicians and over 130 pediatric sub-specialists. The 289-bed hospital is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with several specialty programs ranked among the best in the nation in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012-2013 by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession’s most prestigious institutional honor.

ABOUT HEALTHTEACHER
HealthTeacher is the interactive leader in youth health, creating games, apps, and educational resources to make health awesome for kids. HealthTeacher's research based products are designed to get kids moving and to develop healthy behaviors that last a lifetime. Reaching over 6 million kids through its fast-growing network of 11,000+ schools, HealthTeacher’s interactive products are used by teachers, parents, and kids to address important youth health issues, including physical activity, nutrition, and social and emotional well-being. To learn more, visit
www.healthteacher.com