Langhorne, PA and Palo Alto, CA ( October 18, 2018 ) – Pop Warner Little Scholars, the nation’s oldest and most prominent youth football, cheer, and dance organization, today announced a unique partnership with TeachAids, a nonprofit leader in global education innovation, to educate young athletes about concussions.
Concussions are one of the most widely discussed but least understood issues among the 38 million youth actively engaged in sports across the United States. TeachAids aims to help correct that through CrashCourse, an interactive learning experience that was developed with Stanford University’s leading education, engineering, and medical researchers, as well as their world-class coaches and student-athletes. Filmed in both Virtual Reality and HD, the program puts students virtually on the field during a high school football game.
Celebrating its 90th year of youth football in 2018, Pop Warner will be the first organization to provide CrashCourse concussion education nationwide to its 325,000 participants.
“Although there are ample materials available for parents, coaches and medical professionals, there is a dearth of customized, research-based education for young people. If we are going to change the culture of sports we need to educate our young athletes,” said Dr. Julian Bailes, founder of The Brain Injury Research Institute. “CrashCourse has tremendous potential to resonate with our young people and encourage them to come forward when injured.”
“We have put into place a number of important tools to make Pop Warner football safer, including major rule changes and enhanced coaching education. The partnership with TeachAids will give us yet another important approach to protecting the young people who love the game,” says Jon Butler, Executive Director of Pop Warner. “The interactive, engaging content from experts and elite Stanford student-athletes will help teach young people to recognize a concussion and emphasize the importance of speaking up if they think they or a teammate suffered a concussion."
"Kids and parents from all sports come to our clinics searching for more robust education on concussions,” said Dr. Gerald Grant, Division Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Stanford Children’s Health. “CrashCourse speaks to young people in their own language. This resource will fill a major gap in education and we hope it has a huge impact around the world.”
“In order to educate effectively about concussions, we needed a curriculum delivered by voices that youth admire and trust,” said Dr. Piya Sorcar, founder and CEO of TeachAids. “Research revealed that students wanted to hear from near-peers, someone relatable that had to overcome similar challenges, not from doctors, teachers or coaches.”
CrashCourse was developed over two years with the world’s leading clinical and medical experts in concussions and curriculum development. More than one thousand people have contributed to the CrashCourse education program, including hundreds of students. The interactive curriculum features All-American running back and Doak Walker award-winner Bryce Love along with Stanford Captains Alameen Murphy, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Brandon Simmons, and wide-receiver Trenton Irwin.
“We really believe in this program. My teammates and I poured countless hours to build CrashCourse in order to create a powerful education platform that would resonate with today’s youth,” said Alameen Murphy, a captain for the Stanford Cardinal football team. “We grew up playing Pop Warner football. It’s a dream come true to see that the next generation of players will now be able to know and understand concussions the way we wish we did at their age.”
In the coming months, CrashCourse will release an interactive virtual reality component of their curriculum, along with several other expansions:
■ A symptom simulator, which uses virtual reality to help students recognize the signs of a concussion and empathize with those who have experienced similar injuries
■ A brain fly-through using a 3D representation of an actual brain, to help students better understand its complexity and appreciate its vulnerability
■ A series of short interactive videos featuring high-profile athletes to complement the information provided by near-peer sources The HD version of the CrashCourse curriculum will be instituted throughout Pop Warner’s programs nationwide starting today. The program is also available for free by visiting: http://crashcourse.teachaids.org.
About Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.
Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Langhorne, PA, Pop Warner Little Scholars is the nation’s oldest youth football, cheerleading and dance organization and the only youth sports organization that emphasizes academics as a prerequisite for participation. Pop Warner participants enjoy the opportunity to learn and compete in their sports in an atmosphere that emphasizes fun, safety, academics and character. For more information on Pop Warner and its programs visit popwarner.com or follow Pop Warner on Twitter @Pop_Warner, Facebook @PopWarnerLittleScholars, Instagram @popwarnerlittlescholars and Snap @popwarner1929.
About CrashCourse by TeachAids
TeachAids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social venture that creates breakthrough software addressing numerous persistent problems in health education around the world. CrashCourse is the second free health education program launched by TeachAids in collaboration with Stanford University, following the global success of its award-winning HIV/AIDS interactive software, which is used in 82 countries around the world. It is backed by Google, Microsoft, Barclays, UNICEF, and others, and partnered with 250+ governments, school systems, and NGOs around the world. TeachAids was recognized as an innovation that would "change the world" by MIT Technology Review and is a global laureate of the Tech Awards for benefiting humanity.
For more information on TeachAids visit TeachAids.org or follow us on Twitter @TeachAids, Facebook @TeachAids, YouTube at TeachAids, and Instagram at @teachaids.