MONTREAL, July 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Les Twins, the world-renowned professional dancers and winners of World of Dance, have joined hands with the Kids Write Network (KWN) to shine a light on children's mental health through the transformative power of art and movement. KWN and Les Twins are excited to announce the launch of the U.S. leg of the RISE for Mental Health Tour in Atlanta, Georgia, as part of their mission to empower young minds and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health.
The Kids Write Network (KWN), uses a scientifically developed formula ( SCYiBL) as a school-based art/mental health program aimed at supporting positive mental health growth and health equity among students. Combining positive psychology, neuroscience, literacy and art disciplines, the KWN empowers students by giving them a voice and fostering resilience. KWN has garnered significant recognition, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recommending the incorporation of the KWN program into Canadian schools. The KWN is committed to embrace individuals from all socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and identities, ensuring that every student feels valued, respected, and heard.
As part of its commitment to mental health advocacy, KWN is launching the North America RISE for Mental Health Tour (RMH) in collaboration with acclaimed dance duo Les Twins. Les Twins, who serve as ambassadors of the Kids Write Network. With their profound understanding of KWN's six-step program, Les Twins reinforce its impact through captivating dance workshops, using body movement as a means to communicate and cope with life's difficulties.
The RISE for Mental Health Tour made its debut in Quebec, Canada in November 2022, where the tour garnered widespread attention, with over 500 schools, adult centers, and companies seeking KWN workshops. Now, the tour is gearing up for its US leg, with the first city chosen to launch the tour being Atlanta, Georgia.
Atlanta was selected as the inaugural city for the RISE for Mental Health Tour due to its diverse cultural landscape, thriving arts and entertainment scene, and its rich history. The city's commitment to its youth, exemplified by the city's 2023 initiative, "ATL Year of the Youth," which ensure Atlanta's children, youth and young adults have all of the resources needed to thrive. "Atlanta's young people are our future. Continuing to invest in future generations puts them on pathways to success…" remarks Mayor Andre Dickens
Atlanta is also home to music industry veteran and philanthropist Shanti Das's national non-profit organization "Silence the Shame," dedicated to eliminating mental health stigma, and reducing health disparities, and suicide rates among vulnerable populations. Silence the Shame creates positive experiences, relationships, and environments, promoting positive youth development and empowering young people to prioritize their mental well-being. As an advocate for innovative solutions to engage marginalized communities, STS is pleased to serve as an outreach partner for this initiative. "Mental health conditions are a public health issue in our community, and we are dedicated to offering tools to support good mental health for youth", says STS CEO Shanti Das. In addition, in 2022, the organization has teamed up with the state of Georgia to recognize May 1st as Black Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. On August 13, 2023, Das will record an episode of the Silence the Shame podcast with Les Twins in front of a live audience. The KWN and Les Twins will share a glimpse of the RMH workshop and discuss why partnering with Silence the Shame and focusing on mental health in youth is so important.
Atlanta is also home to Pace Academy which has made a commitment to prioritizing the integration of mental health education and within their community. Pace has been selected as the first school to host RMH based on their "Excellence in every endeavor" initiative that is dedicated to integrating mental health into their academic curriculum and strives to assist the young people in their as they endeavor to become successful students and citizens of the world. Their belief that students' mental wellness is a vital part of their journey in life aligns with the RMH tour mission. "We are excited to have Les Twins and KWN at Pace in a way that reaches youth and mental wellness, but also offers an important component of representation in the conversations" says Pace Academy's Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, Joanne Beauvoir Brown.
The RMH tour, in collaboration with Les Twins aims to foster inclusivity and empower individuals who may struggle to speak up about mental health. Through the power of expression in body movement and written communication, Les Twins have broken down barriers and shed a light on a new understanding of one's ability to overcome all challenges in life among individuals from all walks of life.
"We are thrilled to introduce the Kids Write Network school program, launch the RISE for Mental Health Tour with Les Twins, work closely with the State of Georgia schools and feel very privileged and honored to be partnering with Silence the Shame," said Helen Georgaklis: Founder at The Kids Write Network. "With these initiatives, we are revolutionizing how mental health education is implemented and how empowering students across North America to realize their potential can be done through art."
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About Kids Write Network (KWN):
The Kids Write Network (KWN) program has been scientifically validated by McGill University. The KWN is masked behind the award-winning formula ( SCYiBL ) that has been adapted to writing, art, music and dance. Since 2012, the KWN has been implemented in hundreds of schools across Canada, worked with cancer patients, cancer survivors, high and low functioning youth on the spectrum as well as military living with PTSD. It is the first program that has been adapted to 4 art disciplines making it easy for teachers to use in different classrooms. In 2022, the KWN built its first AI prototype that scans and measures cognitive thinking. Today it is being scaled and adapted to interpret speech to text with their partner Deloitte to reach the masses and support youth mental health.
About Les Twins:
Les Twins started dancing on the streets of Paris at 13 years old. It wasn't long before they were very well known in the dance scene. They rose to prominence in Europe, teaching thousands of students, which eventually led them to Russia and Japan. They became worldwide sensations after a video of their performance on the San Diego leg of the World of Dance tour went viral with over 84 million views. They broke barriers by being the first dancers signed to the Jordan brand as artists, personally handpicked by Michael Jordan himself. For four seasons, Les Twins occupied the seats as the masters of the dance show Révolution in Quebec.