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Making healthy words and music
Arviat group involved in unique project for children

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, September 4, 2013

An Arviat media group is involved with a special project aimed at promoting healthy living among the community's youngest members.

NNSL photo/graphic

Charlotte Karetak puts the finishing touches on a storyboard of concept designs for characters set to appear in a series of kids' books promoting good health in Arviat this past month. - photo courtesy of the Arviat Wellness Centre

The project has been made possible by a $100,000 grant from Coca-Cola, which is being administrated through the Canadian Institute for Children's Health (CICH).

The unique undertaking will see the Arviat group write six storybooks for children up to six years of age.

Shirley Tagalik of the Department of Education in Arviat said since the storybooks will be developed around health-promoting messages, the work that's been done over the past couple of years on healthy choices for children and youth will form the basis of the books.

Tagalik said the Arviat media group has been working in the community for about the same amount of time, and will be taking care of much of the work on developing the storybooks. She said another piece of the project is putting together jingles, or little songs, to go along with each story.

"You never forget a Coke song," Tagalik said with a laugh. "And since we'd like to teach our kids to eat healthier, we're going get the chance to do it with books and music for our younger ones."

Tagalik said there will be others taking part in this project besides the media group.

"As we get into developing the stories, we'll involve illustrators, musicians and songwriters."

Tagalik said the CICH is running the contract, and the Arviat group will work with its steering committee to help facilitate the development of the books.

She said the books will be published separately, with some in Inuktitut and others in English.

"We expect the jingles will also be produced bilingually, with one ditty to go with each book," Tagalik said.

The funding ends on Dec. 31, Tagalik said, adding the group is confident the project will be completed on time.

"Some of the storyboards are already completed, and we're working on fine-tuning them before they're sent along to an illustrator," she said. "We've been working on this through the summer and it's been going well, so far."

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