Tahir's Playbook Challenge - Pontiac students enjoy real-life meeting with pro football player who served as their avatar coach in nutrition and physical fitness game

A victorious group of Pontiac School District elementary students this week enjoyed lunch and a pick-up game with pro football player Tahir Whitehead.  A victorious group of Pontiac School District elementary students this week enjoyed lunch and a pick-up game with pro football player Tahir Whitehead.Tahir Whitehead is showing in a touch football game on Monday with Pontiac School District students.

The students were winners of the Tahir’s Playbook challenge, an online nutrition and physical fitness game. Whitehead spoke to the winning students about the importance of education, eating healthy and physical fitness. Whitehead also played touch football with the students during recess.

Tahir’s Playbook is a nutrition education and physical fitness gamification app that was piloted to select students in Pontiac this spring.

The app uses game concepts and friendly competition to teach students about healthy eating and physical fitness, creating a form of active and fun learning.

In the app, an avatar of Whitehead served as the coach or personal trainer for the students. Students created an avatar of themselves in the game. By playing the mini-games and completing the daily tasks, the students won in-game rewards.

The app was available to participating students on personal smart devices or through an online computer portal.

Tahir’s Playbook was developed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan State University Games for Entertainment and Learning and Michigan State University Extension.

The free app was paid for by a U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education grant.

Whitehead, who has partnered with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in talking to children about the importance of health and education, volunteered his time to record voiceovers for the game.

Photo caption: Tahir Whitehead is showing in a touch football game on Monday with Pontiac School District students.