Playful Earth presents Jay Mankita's entertaining assembly program promoting healthy food, and healthy choices!

Eat Like A Rainbow is a Parents’ Choice award-winning album, an exciting concert, a coloring book, and our tastiest and most nutritious school assembly program.

Click here to email Jay, or call 413-627-3145 to book a show.

Jay starts the show with a hip, funky song on electric guitar, then adds acoustic guitar and piano. The kids love his floor-based percussion rig built of found objects and recycled materials, and the projection of colorful pictures, video, and lyrics projected on the big screen.

A perfect fit for any school hoping to promote new menu options, and the album is free to parents, so you really get whole families supporting your lunchroom changes. These songs promote fruits and vegetables, and this inspiring, motivational, and relevant show helps make it fun for kids to make healthy choices. Book this show today!

Preview the songs, or download the album for free. Click “download” under the album cover below. When prompted, enter “0” as the amount.


Originally commissioned by the nonprofit NY Coalition for Healthy School Food (NYCHSF) for a pilot project in NYC Schools (in conjunction with the Dept of School Foods of the NYC Board of Education), the songs are now used in teaching programs across the country, from food banks to universities, and  the entire collection of songs is featured as part of the USDA’s Healthy Meal Resource System – ‘Team Nutrition’.

This album is a Parents’ Choice Approved Award Winner. The title song is featured as the first track of Putumayo’s Picnic Playground – heard in over 100 countries. The song ‘Junk Food Man’ appears on the compilation Healthy Food For Thought, nominated for a 2011 Grammy. And the Kitani Coloring Book features the title song as illustrated by children.

700 CDs were distributed to teachers through the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Nutrition over a two year period. Hundreds more have been distributed free of charge to low income families through programs such as the Orfalea Foundation in southern California, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

Jay’s dynamic, multi-media concert in which he presents the songs at elementary schools, libraries, and other venues has already been experienced by over half a million kids.

Now the coloring book is here, and more and more folks are using these songs to help kids learn about nutrition every day!

“Absolutely fantastic! Jay’s concert totally engaged our children, and was parent friendly too! Great feedback from all who attended! Nancy Farber, Director, Cushman School

Southwest Elementary, Torrington, CT

I thought the program was excellent. The children really enjoyed the audience participation. They seemed to be fascinated by the sign language. I also liked the fact that they did a great variety of songs. – C. Gelzinis, 2nd grade

Top Notch! Definitely kept the interest of the children. – P. Matey, 3rd grade

Excellent! I really enjoyed them — they are true professionals and have great showmanship!! – Carolyn, 1st grade

Alden Intermediate School, Alden, NY

Nice job! Lots of student participation and very upbeat! -Thomas Lyons, 3rd-5th grades

Wonderful! Entertaining, age appropriate, educational, never boring, and just the right length of time! – Pat Blarr, 5th grade

PS 42, Staten Island NY

Thank you, Jay! We enjoyed the show! – Janice LoPresti, Assistant Principal

I thought it was excellent! – Anne Logan, 4th grade,

Wonderful! Great audience interaction, and they held the children’s attention.
– Mrs. Vitale, 2nd grade

Charles E. Walters, Yaphank

Great! The children were participants throughout the show. They used music and body movements to express language. Very educational and fun for the children, too! – Laura DeNapoli, 3rd grade

Fine, professional performance. A real learning experience. Keep up the good work! – Jeanette Campbell, 4th grade

Very good! Both entertaining and engaging. – G. Pozzolani, 5th grade

Superb! Very interactive with well-chosen international songs. – Mohna Podder, Pre-K

I think the music and hand movements were great and the children participated really well! – Pat Trahey, 1st – 3rd grade

The music was great and the songs fit in well with Montessori philosophy. A very enjoyable program! – 1st – 3rd grade

“Jay Mankita jumps up and down with a big grin on his face, playing incredible guitar, getting everyone laughing. Moments later, he’s doing a dead serious song with no accompaniment. Come hear this guy, I think he’s one of the half dozen best songwriters today.” – Pete Seeger

“Jay’s songs are thoughtful, humorous, provocative, and engaging. He reveals a great deal of feeling for serious issues, seasons them with a bit of humor, and weaves his own unique style of guitar playing throughout. Treat your audience to some Jay Mankita!” – Kate Patton, Director, Globe Theater

“He’s a musical pied piper; quick, nimble, and wonderfully crazy. He alternates complexity, simplicity, and hilarity, leading us to the most beautifully obvious conclusion; that we’re all human, we’re all in this together, and it’s not so bad after all.” – Margie Rosenkrantz, Director, The Eighth Step

“The blending, in fact, is what makes Mankita such an outstanding performer . . . Even within individual verses of the same song, Mankita will shift his voice from a Brombergian growl to a soft and mellow falsetto; pull his tempo from allegretto to a dramatic legato; from Windham Hillian wallpaper background to a snapping fret-slapping blues style. With his assortment of styles and voices, you never find your mind wandering.” – Jeremy Bloom, Schenectady Daily Gazette

“A consumate folk artist who performs in a whimsical, versatile style for both children and adults; a good portion of his work is environmentally, or peace-and-justice based”. – Whole Earth Review

We loved it! The stories and music were appropriate to my grade level, and I appreciate it– Miss Guilfoyle, Kindergarten, Apalachin Elementary

I thought the program was excellent. The theme and materials were age appropriate. I liked the fact the children had prior preparation for the songs he presented. The children liked having audience participation. – J. DeNap, 1st grade, Apalachin Elementary

Loved it. Kids were involved, but then settled down. Thanks. They had very favorable comments about it when they came back. – Miss Watson, Kindergarten, Apalachin Elementary

My students and I really enjoyed your presentation about endangered animals. Your music, your rapport with younger students, and your ability to reach an audience made this assembly so very special. Thank you. – Kathy Rutan, 1st grade, East Dover Elementary, NJ

Your program was great. I’d like to see you again. This was a great way for our kids to see a live program with a very important message. Thanks! – Bill Douglas, 2nd grade, East Dover Elementary, NJ

The students really enjoyed the program They learned about different animals and the regions they lived in. They loved the rhyming songs and the “rap.” Great program! Let’s do it again! It goes beautifully with our curriculum. – Jane Rughkowski, 2nd grade, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary

I thought the program was excellent. Jay’s interaction and tone with the children was wonderful and the content was appropriate and important. The children enjoyed it.  Gina Barbato, Kindergarten, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary

It was a wonderful program. All the children were involved. “Conservation” awareness was obvious by all the responses that were elicited–and children were made aware of environmental safety for animal, forests, etc. Good program! – Ruth Tepper, 2nd grade, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary

My class really enjoyed the assembly. We did a lot of work before the assembly on all the things you sing about in your songs. I know my children learned a lot from your music. Thank you for your wonderful music. I hope we hear a lot more of your music in the future. My class sang along the whole time and were thrilled when you came back to our classroom for a visit.  Coleen Brunken, 1st grade, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary

More Reviews & Letters

Excerpts from Teachers

Dear Jay, On behalf of our 5th and 6th grade students and teachers, I would like to thank you for a delightful concert with a serious message.  Your technique of involving students personally in songwriting is certainly unique…I would strongly recommend to any school that has the opportunity to engage your services, to do so.  You certainly have a way with kids (adults, too).  Please continue encouraging, through song, the reclaiming of our planet.  Good luck in all future endeavors.
– Betsy Matthias, Assistant Principal, Ellenville Elementary School

Your time with us this week was truly a gift. Your wonderfully creative, sensitive, yet engaging style gave us something to look forward to each day. Good luck to you as you continue to pursue your dreams and goals. – Sue Ouderkirk, Teacher, Tanglewood Elementary School

Thank you so much for inspiring our class and me! Your presence in our room has been very motivating. I especially appreciate that you never spoke down to the children. You shared your high expectations with them, but in a very encouraging way. Enclosed are some notes from our children. They are unedited, and from the ‘inside.’  I hope you enjoy them.”-Suzanne Morris, Teacher, Tanglewood Elementary School

Reviews

“Dear Jay, On behalf of over 125 parents and children who attended your performance at our library, I want to thank you for sharing your outstanding musical skills with us, as well as your knowledge of the environment.  We all enjoyed your performance because it entertained, as well as informed.  You definitely presented issues and ideas that are not necessarily a part of most children’s concerts.  It was especially fun to see the enthusiastic participation of the audience.”

– Eleanor Henricks, Youth Services Librarian, Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY

“Dear Jay, Let me take a few minutes to let you know how exciting and enjoyable your program was at Monroe Free Library.  Your enthusiasm and creativity electrified our group of almost 100 children and parents.  Thank you, thank you for an enjoyable and memorable show. “

– Barbara Spielmann, Monroe Free Library, NY

“Dear Jay, I can’t thank you enough for such an outstanding children’s program.  The way you involved the audience and captured the attention of children from age two to teenagers was truly remarkable.  Without even knowing it, the children were learning some timeless values regarding their treatment of the world.  We will definitely consider your programs in the future and make arrangements for another “packed house,” which

I feel confident we can count on again.  I look forward to hearing from you regarding next year’s show.” Thank you once again for a marvelous performance.
– Joanne Trask, Phoenix Public Library, NY

Plaza School, Baldwin, NY

Please let me formally extend my sincere thanks on behalf of Plaza School in Baldwin for your excellent “Halloween Concert” on October 30, 2001. Students from all grade levels were captivated by your performance.

 Our younger grades really loved your “Pumpkin Pie” song and were singing “I’m Not Scared” on the bus on their recent field trip. I heard from many parents that yours how was the topic of conversation at the dinner table for several nights and the children were teaching their parents to sign the words to the songs. 

Our older grades participated in and enjoyed your show almost as much as the younger children and they loved having their classmates come to the stage with you to dance the “Monster Mash.” And our teachers seemed to show great enthusiasm during the singing and signing of your songs . . . 

Once again, I thank you on behalf of the Plaza School family and we would be happy to recommend your services to other schools in our area. – Patti Sisco, PTA Cultural Arts Chairperson

Deauville Gardens ES, Copiague, NY

Thank you so much for coming to Deauville Gardens with your Halloween concert. Everyone had only good things to say about it! Looking forward to your other show in December! -Donna Frescott, PTA

Excellent! The students got very involved. The concert incorporated listening and speaking skills. We need more programs like this. The kids had a blast! – Mary Prisco, 2nd grade

Excellent! Children were actively involved and interested in the stories and songs. All the material was very age appropriate. Adults enjoyed it too! – Mrs. I. DiGiovanna, 3rd grade

Bravo!! The concert was age appropriate, completely engaging and lots of fun! – Stacy Bach, Kindergarten

I loved it! The kids were actively listening to and participating in all songs and stories! – Jennifer Routh, 4th grade

Excellent! Great audience participation! – Dawn Masure, 5th grade

Reviews

“Dear Jay, On behalf of over 125 parents and children who attended your performance at our library, I want to thank you for sharing your outstanding musical skills with us, as well as your knowledge of the environment.  We all enjoyed your performance because it entertained, as well as informed.  You definitely presented issues and ideas that are not necessarily a part of most children’s concerts.  It was especially fun to see the enthusiastic participation of the audience.”

– Eleanor Henricks, Youth Services Librarian, Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY

“Dear Jay, Let me take a few minutes to let you know how exciting and enjoyable your program was at Monroe Free Library.  Your enthusiasm and creativity electrified our group of almost 100 children and parents.  Thank you, thank you for an enjoyable and memorable show. “

– Barbara Spielmann, Monroe Free Library, NY

“Dear Jay, I can’t thank you enough for such an outstanding children’s program.  The way you involved the audience and captured the attention of children from age two to teenagers was truly remarkable.  Without even knowing it, the children were learning some timeless values regarding their treatment of the world.  We will definitely consider your programs in the future and make arrangements for another “packed house,” which

I feel confident we can count on again.  I look forward to hearing from you regarding next year’s show.” Thank you once again for a marvelous performance.

– Joanne Trask, Phoenix Public Library, NY

 

 

Buy these award-winning CDs for a fraction of their normal cost and sell at your fundraiser, or just give away to promote your wellness message! We’ll put your organization or business name on each CD. Great for schools of course, but also makes for great promotion of any group that wants to help kid’s eat more fruits and vegetables! Call 413-627-3145 for more info, or email now!
Click here to email Jay, or call 413-627-3145 to book a show.