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Join the movement movement! Are you looking for an educational program to address obesity, inactivity, type two diabetes and cognition?

Using movement to increase cognition and health of youth.

Photo of Julian Reed
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Written by

Name or Organization

ActivEd Inc. Our first product is Walkabouts.


Greenville, SC

What is your stage of development?

  • Advanced Innovator with 3 to 10+ years of experience in ECD


  • For - Profit

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

Describe your submission in one clear sentence

Walkabouts are more than brain breaks! Our web-based lessons activate Pre-K through 2nd grade curriculum with fun, standards-based movement.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

Our solution can be a game changer because obesity rates continue to increase, especially among underserved youth ages 2 to 4. Furthermore, academic progress and cognition continues to be adversely impacted by health of youth. Our solution provides opportunities for youth to be active as they learn.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

Walkabouts are on-demand adventures that transform math and language content into short, movement-rich activities for Pre-K through Second Grade students. This research-based online tool makes it easy for teachers and parents to create lessons that bring key concepts to life through physical activity. It even correlates to the state standards teachers already use to develop and manage their lesson planning. Plus, unlike traditional videos, Walkabouts are dynamic and different every time they play.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

The biggest barrier to implementing movement in educational settings is a loss of instruction time. Walkabouts correlate with Head Start and NAEYC standards for the PreK learner as well as correlating to specific Math and ELA standards for each state to allow educators to teach with movement without losing instruction time.

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

Please go to Across the country, students are moving less and less. They’re learning less, too. But recent research (from experts like our founder, Dr. Julian Reed) offers some good news: Physically active children aren’t just healthier, they learn better. The Walkabouts platform was created to help kids move more — and learn more! Walkabouts are simple-to-use, cost-effective online lessons that help teachers, school systems, and parents bring educational standards to life in fun, interactive ways. Perfect for elementary classes as well as before school and afterschool programs, Walkabouts don’t just increase students’ physical activity, they make educational standards come to life as movement-rich exercises.

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

The beneficiaries of our idea are teachers, students and parents. Our Walkabouts make learning fun and supported by research that demonstrates kids who move more are healthier and have enhanced cognitive abilities-which benefits the entire education community.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

The long lasting outcomes of our product are a decrease in the prevalence of overweight and obese youth while simultaneously improving the cognitive abilities of youth through structural changes in the developing nervous system of children. Lack of physical activity among youth has become one of the largest public health concerns within the 21st century. Nationally, only 54% of adolescents ages six-19 are meeting the daily physical activity recommendation outlined in the National Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Rising levels of physical inactivity have been associated with lower levels of aerobic fitness among adolescents according to the most recent National Youth Fitness Survey that stated only 42.2% of adolescents ages 12-15 are meeting standard levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, which is a 10% decrease from those reported just a decade ago. This decrease in aerobic fitness may contribute to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease among youth due to the inability for children to obtain the health benefits associated with sufficient muscular strength, muscular endurance, and VO2Max capacity through regular physical activity. Researchers have indicated that lower levels of aerobic fitness have been associated with higher rates of overweight and obesity among youth. Currently, 25 million American children are considered overweight or obese, and are more likely to become obese in adulthood activity behaviors do not improve as kids.

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

We have a large pilot, over 100 schools in SC. 2,039 teachers, ~42,000 students. More than 50% of the schools are Title I schools.

Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (1500 characters);

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

There are over 80,000 elementary schools in the US and over 30,000 early childhood centers in the US. More than $17 Billion a year is spent on supplementary educational materials in this sector.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

My co-founder, Matt Ferebee and myself have the technical and operational skills to support this solution. We have received funding from VentureSouth in SC and we have revenue. The key now is to expand outside of the South to the rest of the country and overseas.

Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (1500 characters)

We sell our Walkabouts for a 12 month licence per school building for $999. This price point is low for an Ed Tech solution on a per pupil basis. Revenue this past year was $350,000.

HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (1500 characters)

Our Walkabouts were designed for teachers by teachers. We engaged with more than 50 teachers during the prototype phase of the Walkabouts and close to 20 teachers currently develop content for our solution. We incorporated feedback at every stage, prototype, beta and full roll out by teachers via survey data and direct observation of use in an authentic teaching environment.

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

I am a professor of Health Sciences at Furman University in Greenville, SC. My area of research is examining the links between physical activity and cognition of youth. I wanted to develop a simple platform that would allow teachers to teach content they are responsible for teaching to improve the health and cognitive ability of their students. Research is clear, kids who move more, have better health, better behavior management and better academic performance. Unfortunately, most kids are sedentary throughout the day and need movement opportunities that do not take away from instruction time.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (500 characters)

We are an approved resource by the Active Schools and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. We would welcome additional partners in the education and health space to further scale our solution.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

We need additional help on the technology side to develop additional content areas. Additionally we could use assistance on the marketing side to help us increase our brand awareness among parents.

Would you like mentoring support? [Relevant only for Early Submission Deadline]

  • No

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).

Uniquely qualified to develop and lead ActivEd, Dr. Reed is an educator, researcher, and author of various scholarly articles as well as of a widely used movement-based curriculum and training text published by Nova Science titled Active Education. He has disseminated his research in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Preventive Medicine, Preventing Chronic Disease, Health and Place and the Journal of American College Health.

[Optional] Attachments: Please upload relevant attachments or graphics or show us how you prototyped.

It won't let me load video. Please go to to see kids using our program in SC. Or use this link

[Optional] Video: You are invited to submit a 30-60 second video that introduces you and/or your team and your idea.

Please see the video at to view this video.


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