Common Core & I Am Here: A letter to educators



Dear Educators,

As youth advocacy educator for KC Healthy Kids, my job is to provide you with the resources and support you need to empower your students to speak out for healthy schools and communities. The I Am Here photo contest is a great way to begin that discussion while still supporting Common Core standards – and you may even win $2,500 for your school!

Michelle Dake, Youth Advoacy editor

As Youth Advocacy Educator, Michelle Dake oversees our I Am Here Youth Advocacy program and the photo contest.

The most meaningful and engaging activities in education are those that incorporate student ideas and ownership. If we want students to improve in literacy standards of reading, writing, speaking and debating, we need to give them authentic and thought-provoking ways to practice those skills. I Am Here fits the bill. The photo contest provides a wonderful opportunity for students to practice Common Core and critical thinking skills. Not only does it engage students in the learning process, but it allows them to truly become advocates for their community and learning environment while achieving real change at the same time.

To make it as easy as possible for you to get started, I’ve created a simple survey with six prompts, a short passage and suggested follow up questions you can adapt to fit your classroom’s needs. The passages include links for teachers and students who want to learn more about the topics. I’ve also come up with some easy classroom activities to go along with the survey:

Get the Survey

Once your students have discovered how their surroundings help and hinder their health, they can snap photos and write captions for the photo contest.

Get Contest Instructions

We look forward to your submissions!


Michelle Dake

Youth Advocacy Educator

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