What They Are Saying About the Program

Khalil age 9


I wanted to say thanks so much for the workbooks. Today is the first day of summer and my little one has been working on it for about an hour.


Dear Jyl,

We are thrilled that The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County is utilizing the Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program for Children in their after school program. We are also very excited that we now have partnerships with the Goleta Valley School District and the Santa Barbara Union School District and their teachers will soon be adding the modules to their curriculum!

With all the financial cut-backs there has been less P.E. and exercise time for our school students, and many of the Kindergarten classes have no exercise programs at all. We feel your curriculum fills an important need in the fitness and health education of our students that is vital to their long-term health and success in life.

The connection between nutrition and exercise with health and learning has been largely overlooked in our schools, and we are seeing an increasing level of childhood diabetes, obesity, learning difficulties and depression in students.

Patricia Bragg believes children are our future, and they are their own Health Captains, and also stewards of the planet at a very important time in history. What an important program this is, and we are proud that the Bragg Health Foundation along with our Bragg Health Kids Program, are working together with your ShapeUpUs Organization to increase health awareness in children and in our communities.

As I’ve been on visits with school administrators I’ve enjoyed sharing the comprehensive nature of the eight sections of lesson material, their flexibility, and that they include music and fun activities that will make learning fun and memorable for the students.

Thank you for the opportunity to sponsor the four new Bragg lesson modules. Patricia has long taught that health is not diet alone, but holistic in nature. “You are what you eat, drink, breathe, think, say and do” is her motto. We are excited that the Hip Hop Healthy Heart program now includes her specially created Bragg units:
Plant Power- You Are What You Eat
Be Water Wise- You Are What You Drink
Take a Breathe-Yoga And Breathing-You Are What You Breathe
Words are Living -You Are What You Say

Thank you Jyl!

Allison White, Community Outreach Coordinator

Dear Jyl,

Thank you for bringing Hip Hop Healthy Heart Curriculum to the Kyrene School District. Our Elementary Physical Education Program has begun to integrate the whole child concepts in with our yearly physical education curriculum. The Healthy Heart lessons are aligned with the Arizona State Standards that serve as the foundation of our program. Hands down, it is a thorough and age appropriate curriculum that breaks down concepts in such small parts that we are able to pull out small parts of a module and use them during transitions between our physical engagement activities.

Our goal is to expand the Hip Hop Healthy Heart program into classrooms and into our Let’s Move Active Schools program. We look forward to our continued partnership to positively affect the health and wellness of our students and community.


Deb Striker
Elementary Physical Education Lead
Kyrene School District
Kyrene de la Mirada Elementary, Physical Education Teacher

This program is incredible… you have done a remarkable job putting this excellent information together… it is extremely important and practical information presented in a very clear and concise manner…congratulations on the materials and the most compelling manner in which these are presented…

I am very impressed with your program, materials and wonderful work!

Continued success…

~ Dr. Wayne Westcott

Dr. Westcott is Fitness Research Director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, author of more than 20 fitness books and consultant for numerous national organizations such as the U.S. Military, the American Council on Exercise, the American Senior Fitness Association, and the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation. He is also editorial advisor for many well-known publications, including Prevention, Shape, and Club Industry magazines.

Teachers describe how their students are benefitting from the Program:

“I have been using the Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program in my class. I incorporate it with our Science program, where we have been studying the heart and digestive system, so it fits in beautifully. My students in Globe are more economically disadvantaged, so the study of nutrition has been all the more beneficial. Thank you for a great program.”

The nutrition module, Eat Good Food, Dude . . . Nutrition for Great Health, is very good. The materials were of high interest to students, had great graphics (I enjoyed the plate supplement), it had so much information – which gave the teacher a choice on how much to use it.

~ Mark Smith, A music teacher pre school to 6th and an after school High School class

Hi Jyl, I have been using the Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program in my class. We are currently on the Groovin’ Grains. We did the rice experiment and the worksheet for the various grains in which they had to figure out the state it was in as well was very challenging for my students! They have planners with a U.S. map in them, so they were using those to figure out the states that grew corn, wheat, etc… I think they are definitely learning. I incorporate it with our Science program, where we have been studying the heart and digestive system, so it fits in beautifully. My students in Globe are more economically disadvantaged, so the study of nutrition has been all the more beneficial. When we did chapter 1, I thought they should know what a “healthy snack” is, so I brought in apples and tortilla shells, gave them tips for putting cheese or jelly, etc, on the tortilla shells, and they just love anything with food. I was cutting the apples and passing out the slices, and they even wanted the cores, so I had no trouble getting rid of every bit of it. Thank you for a great program.

~ Ann

In the mid-90s my family changed our dietary practices by shopping and cooking using Jyl’s  Healthy Cookbooks. Her recipes were heart healthy, simple to make, and delicious.  In 2001 Jyl became my Personal Trainer.  She is truly an inspiring leader and innovator for healthy living.  When I met Jyl she was the spokesperson for Shamrock Farms Dairy and spent countless hours visiting classrooms all over the Valley promoting good nutrition and exercise.  Jyl and her family truly practice healthy living.

With Jyl’s leadership in 2011, I became involved with the Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program for Children™ by writing some of the curriculum.  Jyl’s personal vision for this curriculum is to have a global impact on the problem of childhood obesity by teaching a comprehensive wellness program in schools.  For the curriculum Jyl created an Exercise Pyramid.  The Pyramid has a seven day plan for various types of activities. A Shape Up US Superfoods Plate was also designed by Jyl to be used in the curriculum.  The plate is divided into four segments with the recommended portions of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein.  Recommended servings of dairy products are visualized as a cup in conjunction with the plate.  Each lesson of the Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program for Children™ offer teachers didactic lesson plans, vocabulary words, fun, and optional activities that help students learn the lesson’s core material.  Standards in this curriculum align with the Common Core Standards Arizona is now using. I have also personally taught several Lessons from the Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program to fourth grade students I tutor.  Unit 1: Meet Dr. Beat, Lesson 1: What is the Heart teaches children about their heart and all were very proud when they had completed the assignments Meet Dr Beat Word Search and Coloring the Anatomical Parts of the Heart correctly.Unit 2 Go With The Flow, Lesson 1 is about Open and Closed Circulatory Systems.  After teaching the didactic portion of this lesson, students were able to assess and name pulse sites, practice how to take a pulse and count the rate correctly, and how to use a stethoscope to assess an apical pulse. Students practiced on each other and me.  Students also practiced taking a pulse correctly on parents, grandparents, and siblings.   All reported back to me how confident they were teaching family members these skills and what they had learned about the heart in class.  After Unit 4: Pumpin’ The Blood, Lesson 1: Blood Pressure, students described how to take a blood pressure and took each other’s blood pressure.  The evaluation tool had students describe seven ways to have a healthy blood pressure and students played a game called Blood Pressure Detective: Crack the Code. All of these Units and Lessons include Curriculum Links for Art, Health, Language Arts, Math, Science and Physical Education.  Educational skills in Units and Lessons include thinking skills, categorization, comparison, analysis, description, analysis of information skills.

Jyl’s personal mission is to have an impact on children and families stressing healthful living in all areas of their lives.  And from my experience with her work, I would say “Mission Accomplished!”

~ Pat Triplett, RN, MS – Nursing Faculty Emeritus, Glendale Community College

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