Monmouth County Elementary Students from Clark Mills and Milford Brook Schools to Assemble the World’s Longest LEGO Chain for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Awareness
Date & Time: Tuesday, September 13th, from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Goal: Build The World’s Longest LEGO Chain, 913 Meters (13 representing September 13th, the day James was diagnosed with DMD).
Media Contact: Rob Dillard / Lanmark360, firstname.lastname@example.org, 732-389-4500 x157
JAR of Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) research, is proud to announce its inaugural Delivery of Hope Day taking place on Tuesday, September 13, from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm at Clark Mills Elementary School in Manalapan, NJ. The event marks the three-year anniversary of young Jamesy Raffone’s diagnosis of DMD, a debilitating disease that causes a mutation in the dystrophin gene, which controls muscle function.
For the event, JAR of Hope has teamed up with Play-Well TEKnologies (an organization that teaches kids engineering with LEGO), elementary students from the Monmouth County School District, and high school students from the College of Staten Island in an attempt to shatter a world record for the longest LEGO® chain ever assembled. Currently, the world record for the longest LEGO chain stands at over 902 meters, with JAR of Hope’s goal standing at 913 meters.
Play-Well TEKnologies provided over 200,000 LEGO pieces for the project. A special team of engineers from Play-Well developed and designed the special LEGO gene chain that replicates the dystrophin gene. Using LEGO technology, Play-Well TEKnologies teaches structural engineering year-round to approximately 100,000 students through summer camps, classes, and parties. Each program is a uniquely fun experience.
“Here at Play-Well we explore, solve problems, and express ourselves through LEGOs,” remarked Jeffrey Harry, VP of Marketing and Fun at Play-Well TEKnologies. “We’ve found that kids look forward to educational activities when they’re having fun doing them. When we spoke to Mr. Raffone and learned more about his son Jamesy’s story as well as the countless families affected by this little-known disease we were especially excited to get started.”
Prior to the event, high school students from the College of Staten Island will organize and assort the 200,000+ loose LEGOs in bags that will include each link of the gene chain and instructions for assembly. The bags will then be shipped to the Monmouth County School District’s Clark Mills and Milford Brook elementary schools where over 400 students from twenty classrooms will attempt to build 500 LEGO chain links during a 40-minute period. Play-Well TEKnologies trainers and engineers will be on site to assist the students in putting the chain together.
“On September 13th of each year, JAR of Hope will do something noteworthy and positive to mark the day our family learned about DMD and my son’s diagnosis of this devastating disease,” remarked James Raffone, Founder of JAR of Hope and father of young Jamesy. “The kids will be uniting and building the links of this LEGO gene chain, leading to a greater awareness and understanding of DMD as well as increased public concern and interest which will eventually result in more innovative approaches to treatment. Jamesy loves LEGOs and he will ultimately be connecting the final piece of the largest LEGO chain.”
For all information regarding JAR of Hope, or to become a JAR of Hope ambassador by way of donations or event participation, please visit the recently re-designed website www.jarofhope.org.
For more information about Play-Well TEKnologies, please visit www.play-well.org.
About JAR of Hope:
JAR of Hope was founded in 2013 by James Raffone, after his young son, Jamesy, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Duchenne is form of muscular dystrophy that is caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene. The absence of dystrophin results in muscle deterioration—leading to paralysis, decreased cardiac function, and eventual death. Duchenne affects about 300,000 young males worldwide with approximately 20,000 cases in the United States. Currently, Duchenne has no cure and the average life expectancy of those affected is 25 years. However, JAR of Hope is devoted to eliminating the disease by bringing awareness and raising funds directed to ongoing research.
About Play-Well TEKnologies
Play-Well TEKnologies teaches approximately 100,000 students per year with engineering programs in approximately 23 states as well as in France. Each program is a uniquely fun experience. Play-Well TEKnologies brings A LOT of LEGO® to each learning experience, with over 20,000 pieces in each class/camp and hundreds of projects. Teaching through play, the Company explores, solves problems, and expresses themselves through LEGOs. The Play-Well curriculum is designed by engineers and refined by teachers. As opposed to more common franchise organizations, Play-Well’s founder and president, Tim Bowen, maintains a high level of quality by keeping programs “in-house” and visiting in person with instructors from all over the country.