KC Healthy Kids Launches Youth Photo Contest for Third- Through Eighth-Grade Classrooms

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Winning classrooms, grades 3-8, will be awarded $1,000.

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"Kansas City area youth may not realize it, but they actually have a powerful voice in their communities," says Gretchen Kunkel, president of KC Healthy Kids.

KC Healthy Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of Greater Kansas City's children, is launching their first-ever youth photo contest designed to teach students to speak out for healthy communities.

Dubbed I AM HERE, the contest is open to third- through eighth- grade classrooms in Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte counties in Missouri.

The contest asks students to work together with their classmates to submit up to 10 captioned photos depicting how their communities support and hinder their health. Submissions are expected to give equal attention to aspects of their communities that support healthy habits and those that hinder them. Six awards of $1,000 are up for grabs and are to be used to promote student wellness, such as through the purchase of new playground balls, pedometers, fruit and vegetable tastings, nutrition education, school wellness council projects, and more.

Research clearly demonstrates that the communities in which we live, work, and play impact our health. Without a healthy environment, children and adults alike are more likely to suffer from obesity or the many chronic diseases affecting the United States.

Teachers can use the contest to help students examine their communities and evaluate whether they offer walking trails or broken sidewalks, safe playgrounds or blighted lots, schoolyard gardens or fast food restaurants.

"Kansas City area youth may not realize it, but they actually have a powerful voice in their communities. They truly can influence elected officials and civic leaders to make improvements to their schools and neighborhoods and partner with their community to champion healthy eating and active living," says Gretchen Kunkel, president of KC Healthy Kids.

Contest submissions are accepted through September 20 with an awards reception to be held in November at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

An application form, contest instructions, and awards information are available at kchealthykids.org/iamhere.

For more info, contact Heather Gibbons at KC Healthy Kids at hwgibbons@kchealthykids.org or 816-679-1460

About KC Healthy Kids
KC Healthy Kids is a private, nonprofit organization formed in 2005 to improve the health of Greater Kansas City's children. They partner with communities and organizations to advance policies and environmental changes that support healthy eating and active living.

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Heather Gibbons

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