Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II recently visited with KC Healthy Kids to share his perspective on the power of youth voices and to hear about kids’ proposals to make their schools and communities healthier.
“Change, in the history of this planet, has almost always been brought about by young people,” he said. “The world depends on young people because their minds are fresh and they have a level of daring”
He told how, at age 15, he led the first civil rights march in Wichita Falls when 50 students joined him in protesting segregated movie theaters there. He also shared a foolproof tactic for getting the attention of elected officials -- kids need to do the talking!
“Nobody, nobody wants to get on the bad side of kids,” he said, “You have much more power than you believe.”
The visit was made possible through a grant from Healthy Blue, a leading managed care provider of health benefits for Missouri’s MO HealthNet (Medicaid) program, which serves more than 300,000 Medicaid members with innovative solutions and services for affordable and reliable healthcare.
Representative Cleaver reviewed proposals by students from Central Middle School, EPiC Elementary, Banneker Elementary and Foreign Language Academy. The projects won first place or received honorable recognition in KC Healthy Kids’ Champions for Health Challenge. You can see all the winning proposals with photos here.
“Healthy Blue is proud to support KC Healthy Kids and the Champions for Health Challenge,” said Jeff Davis, plan president, Healthy Blue. “We remain committed to providing our local youth with tools and resources to promote and encourage healthy and productive lifestyles. Through this initiative, students were able to engage alongside their peers with brain-stimulating activity that will create and improve overall quality of life that furthers our mission of building healthier communities.”
Emanuel Cleaver II has represented Missouri's Fifth Congressional District in Washington, DC for over 15 years. Before that, he was a city council member and the first Black mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. One of Representative Cleaver’s biggest accomplishments was establishing a Green Impact Zone. That project brought resources and money into under-resourced neighborhoods to rebuild curbs and sidewalks, fix up houses and make them energy efficient, and create jobs. Today he’s going to talk about why your voice matters and how to engage your decision makers to make change in your community
Congratulations to the following classrooms that participated in the Champions for Health Challenge! Winning classrooms will receive $1000 awards for health and wellness projects at their schools.
See the Winning Submissions
The challenge encourages students to think critically about how their surroundings—walking trails or broken sidewalks, safe playgrounds or blighted lots, schoolyard gardens or fast food restaurants—impact their health.
Past winners have purchased playground equipment, water bottle fountains, pedal desks, and hosted Zumba parties, local food tastings and more. All projects are designed for kids by kids.
Since the contest began in 2013, KC Healthy Kids has awarded $61,000 to 136 classrooms in the six-county metro area.
Challenge Winners – $1,000 Awards
Honorable Mention Recipients – $100 Awards
Learn more about the Champions for Health Challenge
Wow, what a day! Here are just a few highlights from our 2020 Champions for Health Youth Summit, where students who received awards for their photo contest entries were presented with their cash awards, got to meet with their elected officials, and attended break out sessions, and went home with new advocacy skills to help them work with their school leaders to create a healthier environment for their community. We’d like to thank the teachers and volunteers who helped make the day a fun and memorable one for these young Champions for Health!
Over the summer, kids in area Boys & Girls Clubs learned healthy habits, pedestrian safety, what to look for in a healthy community and how to speak out for change. They used The Walking Detective workbooks to score their neighborhoods for walkability and to write letters to their mayors.
We want to send a big thank you to everyone who told us their story in our Champions for Health Photo Contest and helped make it a success!
Winning classrooms will receive $1000 awards for health and wellness projects at their schools. At the youth summit on March 7, they’ll give “Shark Tank” style presentations in hopes of winning an additional $1500 grand prize. Honorable mention recipients in the audience will judge the pitch contest.
Fifth graders at M.E. Pearson Elementary in Kansas City, Kansas hosted a community Zumba® party and farm to school supper and paid for it themselves—with the cash award they received at our Champions for Health Youth Summit in March.
When a group of sixth graders at Academy for Integrated Arts entered our photo contest, they had no idea how big of an impact they were about to have on their community.
Even though their school had recently moved to a beautifully renovated building, the kids turned their focus to an important thing that was still missing: a playground. So, when they won first place at their grade level and presented at the Champions for Health youth summit, they explained the importance of play, and how playground equipment can encourage kids to be active.
“Hopeful Future” is a modern mosaic created by kids from Kansas City’s urban, suburban and rural communities at KC Healthy Kids’ Champions for Health youth summit on March 6, 2018. It’s now traveling to the city as a reminder to them and to their teachers, parents and civic leaders that kids’ voices count!
Congratulations, M.E. Pearson! Fifth graders from Jolynna Addink’s class at M.E. Pearson Elementary in Kansas City, Kansas won the grand prize in the pitch contest at our Champions for Health Youth Summit yesterday.
The Walking Detective™ teaches kids about the built environment, provides a tool for them to evaluate the walkability of their community and empowers them to advocate for change. Andrea Clark, who created the guide, talked with some KCK students as they walked to school. Get Virtual Learning Modules