Pair uses music to teach healthy habits

May 27, 2011 2:45:32 PM PDT
As more programs try to instill healthy habits in kids, two local men are also doing their part.

Chris Wells and Kurtis Johnson are working on their fourth video. They're both health education teachers in South Jersey who are now being called the "hip-hop duo."

They've always loved music and, in 2009 - when the H1N1 flu virus began spreading - they found a great way to use it.

"The principal and the nurse were trying to come up with creative ways to teach the kids the proper ways of hygiene, to wash their hands," said Chris.

In no time, the two wrote the rap lyrics and an action script for "Squirmie Germie" - their funny, but pointed lesson in preventing the spread of germs.

They use a kid-friendly approach.

"So many times, the kids are sick of people preaching at them," Kurtis said. "We're going to kind of show them an example of what they should be doing, and put it in a very catchy refrain and have the kids actually learn through movement."

Kids seem to be responding. The "Squirmie Germie" video has had thousands of viewers on YouTube.

Their previous DVD is doing well too. It focuses on other important health lessons.

"We talk about bones, muscles, we have songs about nutrition," said Chris.

It's not all in front of a camera. They're also busy with live performances at school assemblies and teacher's conventions.

Kurtis and Chris say they'll take their hip-hop health message anywhere they can to motivate people to live healthy.

The new DVD is called "Let's Move."

They're trying to tie their message in with First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign and are hoping they can also work with the White House in the future.