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Allergy Empathy campaign

An interactive campaign targeting middle-school kids to help them learn about allergens and their effect on AD and to build empathy.

Photo of Ana Zukova
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Please elaborate on your proposed solution to the challenge in no more than 300 words.

Eczema is like an allergic skin reaction. We aim to alleviate the stigma surrounding AD by comparing it to allergic reactions. This one-day campaign will target middle-school as that is when most bullying occurs, and will help kids to learn about allergic reactions, triggers, and their effect on AD, reinforcing that AD is not contagious. The approach will be two-fold. Stickers with unique QR codes will be placed around the school near various allergic reaction triggers. Once the sticker is scanned with any QR scanner app, the user will be taken to a website page with information on why that trigger prompts a reaction, what type of reaction, how it aggravates AD, and a quote from someone affected. The homepage of the website would contain general information about allergic reactions and AD, and quotes from people living with allergies or AD. The homepage is accessible to anyone, while the “trigger pages” are accessible via QR scans. The kids will be paired up, given a piece of paper with the triggers to be discovered, and asked to find all the triggers throughout the day. The paper will have questions that can only be answered if the triggers are found. Once all the triggers are discovered, the pair has to turn in their paper to the class teacher. The first 3 pairs in each grade/class to turn in their papers with the right answers will be rewarded.

What is the name of your organization?

We are planning to partner up with Children's Hospital Los Angeles and LA school districts.

Where are you and your organization based?

Los Angeles, California.

Please provide a description of your organization.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles is a non-profit, pediatric academic medical center located in the East Hollywood district of Los Angeles. Founded in 1901, it is the largest regional referral center for children in critical condition who need life-saving care.

What is your name?

Anastassia Zukova

Tell us about your organization, or the organization you are partnering with: What inspired you to participate in this Challenge (300 words or less)?

I own a design company called Griddl and I'm passionate about using the power of design thinking to solve social problems. What sparked my interest in this Challenge is how Atopic Dermatitis and other such conditions can affect someone’s mental health and everyday life. Having two teenage sisters myself, I know how detrimental bullying can be and would like to be able to do something to minimize its occurrence. Los Angeles Children's Hospital would be the perfect partner for this Challenge not only because it is a pediatric academic medical center but also because it already supported other campaigns in schools. We have connected with a Health Education Associate from LACH, who put us in touch with Health Education Programs for LAUSD and Organizational Facilitator who helps manage the Wellness Centers at LAUSD schools.

Building on your initial proposal in the Ideas Phase, please share additional information on your solution to the challenge in more detail (500 words or less).

According to, “Even when a child may be different or have an illness, bullying will be less likely to occur if other children comprehend why a classmate may have different needs.” Our goal is to open a discussion about AD and allergic reactions to promote empathy and, as a result, reduce the chances of bullying. Based on a 2003 study published in the Journal of Applied School Psychology, Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Bullying in Middle School Youth, “Participants' attitudes toward bullying became more supportive of bullying as students progressed through middle school”. Therefore, we plan to launch this program in 6th grade and, hopefully, hinder those behaviors in the future. We don’t just want the children to build empathy, we want the teachers to be more aware of AD too, so we plan to train the teachers to deliver this program in themselves. We will provide an Implementation Guide along with other required materials (trigger stickers, trigger list, fillable form) in an “Implementation Kit”. Once the teacher presents to the class and goes over participation rules, the students will be paired up in alphabetical order and handed out fillable forms. The stickers will be placed around the school according to the trigger list provided in the kit. As part of the implementation kit, we will include recommendations for teachers on how to continue this conversation in their classrooms after the scavenger hunt. Recommendations will include but are not limited to: creating posters, writing a letter to a kid suffering from AD or an allergic reaction, making a presentation to the class, and so on.

Please share more information on the steps you’ll take to make sure the project is a success (500 words or less).

April - (Selected proposals announced) May - Sticker design, fillable form design, Implementation Guide content and design June to August - Website live and project materials printed September - Project implemented

How is your idea scalable (300 words or less)?

This approach is entirely replicable due to simple and affordable materials and a website that can be easily accessed from anywhere with internet access. It will be sustainable as the teachers who have already learned about the implementation process, can repeat it next year to the next class of six-graders. The only thing that will require some minor investment from the school is printing more stickers (the native files for the design will be provided) and fillable forms. This idea could be easily scalable by making implementation materials downloadable from the website for anyone who wishes to implement this program in their community or simply create awareness around AD and/or bullying due to physical conditions.

How would you know if your idea worked and how would you measure it (500 words or less)?

Considering that the goal of the campaign is to raise awareness, stimulate empathy and promote discussion, the idea would be evaluated through the implementer's observation and kid's feedback. Those questionnaires will give us qualitative and quantitative data, like % of kids who felt more empathic after the campaign, % of kids that said the campaign helped them learn about AD, etc.

During the Ideas Phase, you estimated how much your project will cost. Please update if this estimate has changed?

  • $7,000 - 9,999

Please share more information on how the grant funding will be used to bring your idea to life. Please provide an itemized budget. (500 words or less)

We're aiming to implement the project in at least 5 schools and here are the estimated costs: Stickers conception $400 Stickers printing $200 Implementation guide conception $800 Implementation guide printing $250 Triggers questionnaire (fillable form) conception $200 Triggers questionnaire (fillable form) printing $250 Website $4800 Project management, meetings, supervision, etc. $1200 Training the teachers $700 Total $8800


Join the conversation:

Photo of Susan Jackewicz

Hi Ana Zukova I love this idea of an educational game to engage children in a sort of “scavenger hunt” for learning about AD triggers. It’ll have both children who suffer from the disease and their classmates looking at their school environment in a different way!
I wonder, How might you continue broadening their engagement with the lesson....maybe your School District partners would have ideas for the students to explore how a certain trigger might be actually eliminated from their environment? It seems the scavenger hunt inquiry could be fun fertile ground for even more shared learning:-). Cheers, Susan

Photo of Susan Jackewicz

Hi @Ana Zukova
Environmentalism has such a global platform now, especially with younger generations, it might be a way to optimize young students’ attention and teach otherwise unimagined environmental impacts on health. Good luck! Susan

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