On his 80th birthday, the red-headed stranger, Willie Nelson, launched an app. “Lend a Hand” is a story within a song written by Nelson and Marty Dread to educated children about food and farms.
Founder of Farm Aid, which has raised more than $43 million dollars for family farmers since its inception in 1985, Nelson has long been a supporter of the agricultural industry. His song, “Lend a Hand to the Farmer” is the basis for this new app, aimed at children, which includes “read it myself” options, which turn the app into a digital story book, and “sing it to me,” which make it a lovely music video.
Within the app, farms, animals, and markets come to life with a tap, helping children see how agriculture, restaurants and neighborhood markets work together to deliver food to communities. The goal of the app is to help children understand where their food comes from and hopefully encourage them to help preserve family farming and local agriculture. Children can harvest grapes, make it rain, race horses, and plant a garden among other activities.
The app features a colorful animated video by Los Angeles artist Deborah Stoll, and the title song preformed by Los Angeles singer-songwriter Nolan Bryan.
Producer Adelle Walker believes song-centered learning is a fun and fundamental method of education. “To inspire through reading, music, and art is the most fulfilling pursuit I can imagine. My hope is that Lend A Hand App encourages children to invest in making their world a healthier, more creative place to live.”
Following the book, a bonus section shows children how to make their own animations from found materials, including the technique of rotoscoping, which was used to animate the film.
The app was released on May 1, Willie Nelson’s 80th birthday, and costs $1.99 in the iTunes app store for the iPad.