2018 Champions for Health Youth Summit & I Am Here Awards

On March 6, teachers and students from across the metro will come together for “Champions for Health,” KC Healthy Kids’ youth summit.

 At this all-day conference, students who participate in the contest learn to speak out for healthier food in schools, walkable communities, urban farms and gardens and more.

We have a great day planned for them, with breakout sessions, inspiring speakers, and delicious, healthy food, of course!

March 6, 2018
Champions for Health Youth Summit
I Am Here Awards Luncheon
Kauffman Foundation Center
4801 Rockhill, KCMO 64105

Brenda Vanlengen, I Am Here Awards Emcee

Brenda VanLengen is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and ESPN women’s college basketball analyst since 1996. She currently works for ESPN, SEC Network, Fox Sports and Big Ten Network.

She broadcasts 60-70 women’s basketball games per year in addition to softball, volleyball and soccer. She called the 2013 World University Games in Russia and has been part of  over 20 NCAA National Championship broadcasts. Previously she was an executive at PE4Life, a nonprofit group working to get physical education back in schools.
Michael Vance Toombs

Michael Vance Toombs, Teaching Artist, Keynote Address

Painter and art activist Michael Vance Toombs is founder and director of Storytellers Inc., an artists’ collective that works with youth and children in urban communities in Kansas and Missouri. He is known for bringing people together to create interactive projects promoting diversity, unity and non-violence.

“Art is a change agent for society’s difficulties,” says Michael. At the summit, he will lead students in creating a community art project to capture the spirit of the day.

Breakout Sessions

Local Food, School Gardening and You
KC Healthy Kids’ Farm to School Academy connects local food producers to consumers bringing local food into schools. Learn how to become a champion of the local food movement from those who are champions. During this interactive session students will learn what makes food local while participating in the journey food takes from farm to fork. Learn what happens on a farm, and when food reaches your cafeteria. KC Community Gardens’ Schoolyard Gardens Program will teach how to grow your own food and what a school garden can be used for. Schoolyard Gardens staff will work with students on planting an herb that students can take home with them that day. Students will discuss what vegetables they want to grow in their schoolyard gardens. Students will learn ways to advocate for local food in their school, where they can get local food in their community and why it is important to know where your food comes from.

Fuel Up to Play 60
This interactive session will get students up and moving! Students will also hear from Fuel Up to Play 60 student leaders and be empowered to make healthy changes in their schools and communities.

Leadership Kid-Style
We think of leadership as leading others, and it is, but first you have to know how to lead yourself. This interactive session will give kids tools to balance their natural abilities. We will practice tips for the listening kids to learn to speak and for the talking kids to learn to listen. Session leader, Julie Warm, Ph.D. is committed to building and strengthening communities by bridging the worlds of higher education, local governments and nonprofits. Dr. Warm currently is working at the University of Missouri-Kansas City building advocacy skills for women and girls (civic engagement). She also supports UMKC’s efforts in service-learning and including students with intellectual disabilities in the university’s learning community.

12345 Fit-Tastic!
Do you know what it means to be Fit-Tastic!? Come join us for some fun, interactive games to learn 5 health habits to living Fit-Tastic! You’ll leave ready to lead the way for better health in your school and community!

JA It’s My Business
This Junior Achievement program for middle school students emphasizes entrepreneurship while providing a strong focus on social studies, reading and writing skills. Students are encouraged to use critical thinking to learn entrepreneurial skills that support positive attitudes as they explore and enhance their career aspirations. Students will apply their new skills to developing business plans for their I Am Here award to ensure the largest impact possible.

Become a Sponsor

Kids can do amazing things! They just need a little help from the adults in their lives. Just as champion athletes can’t win without help from their coaches, trainers, nutritionists and teammates; our region’s youngest champions cannot bring about healthy changes without you.

Teachers say they have seen changes in their student’s behavior because of their participation in the I Am Here photo contest and Champions for Health youth summit:

  • My students have identified other improvements that would increase health and safety at our school.
  • Kids are able to think much bigger in terms of what ideas/strategies are possible in addressing community health concerns.
  • My students are thinking more critically about healthy and unhealthy environments. They have developed new leadership skills too.
  • The photo contest has increased their motivation and self-esteem and has helped them retain academic concepts. It has given them a much needed sense of agency.

With your help, more kids can become champions for health. Please sponsor the KC Healthy Kids Youth Summit. Your gift can give students across the metro the boost they need to put their ideas into action and reshape their communities for a brighter future.

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2017-2018 Photo Contest Grade Level Winners

3rd Grade – $1,000
Red Bridge Elementary, Center School District, Teachers: Cayetana Maristela and Devon Strahm

4th Grade– $1,000
Westview Elementary, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Teacher: Corinne Drummond

5th Grade– $1,000
M.E. Pearson Elementary, Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, Teacher: Jolynna Addink

6th Grade– $1,000
Academy for Integrated Arts, Kansas City Missouri Charter, Teacher: Asha Moore

7th Grade – $1,000
Northeast Middle School, Kansas City Public Schools, Teacher: Christina Dismang

8th Grade – $1,000
Wheatridge Middle School, Gardner Edgerton School District, Teacher: Maryann Hebda

Honorable Mentions

These classrooms received $100 awards for health and wellness projects at their schools and they are invited to attend the youth summit.

Bonner Springs/Edwardsville Unified School District

  • Bonner Springs Elementary, 5th Grade, Tammy Dooley and Beau Bragg
  • Y Club at Bonner Springs Elementary, 3rd-5th Grade, Taylor Neff

Center School District

  • Indian Creek Elementary, 4th Grade, Cayetana Maristela

Gardner Edgerton School District

  • Edgerton Elementary, 4th Grade, Crysta Baier

Hickman Mills C-1 School District

  • Dobbs Elementary School, 6th Grade, Sharon Ford-Parker

Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

  • Noble Prentis Elementary, 3rd Grade, Crystal Mason
  • Noble Prentis Elementary, 3rd Grade, Crystal Mason
  • Noble Prentis Elementary, 4th Grade, Crystal Mason
  • Noble Prentis Elementary, 5th Grade, Crystal Mason
  • Noble Prentis Elementary, 5th Grade, Crystal Mason

Kansas City Public Schools

  • Longfellow Elementary, 5th Grade, Imani Malaika Mehta
  • Banneker Elementary, 6th Grade, Carri King
  • Faxon Elementary, 6th Grade, Teri Campos

Liberty Public Schools

  • EPiC Elementary, 3rd Grade, Claudia Howerton and Megan Thompson

Private Schools

  • Summit Christian Academy, 5th Grade, Ashlee Smith
  • Summit Christian Academy, 5th Grade, Ashley Kates
  • Summit Christian Academy, 5th Grade, Michelle Bacon
  • Hope Lutheran School, 8th Grade, Cynthia Bird


Thank you to our sponsors!