Photo Contest FAQ

You have questions? We’ve got answers. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the I Am Here photo contest. You could win $2500 for health and wellness at your school!

Don’t see your question? Email us and we’ll respond directly.

Get Contest Instructions

Q: How many times can our school enter?

A: Since the contest is for classrooms rather than schools, teachers can enter for all of their eligible classrooms. Example: A P.E. teacher works with every 3rd-6th grade class at a school that has three classrooms for each grade. The teacher can send in 9 submissions, one for each classroom. If you are planning to enter for multiple classrooms, make sure you cover a range of subjects across all the entries rather than submitting multiple photos of just a few subjects. Also be sure to include the classroom teachers’ names to keep the entries separate.

Q: Are home schools eligible?

A: We’re sorry, but not at this time. Only grades 3-8 in incorporated schools can participate.

Q: Are summer programs eligible?

A: Summer programs must be incorporated at a school in the eligible counties (Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte in Kansas).

Q: Do the photos need to be submitted by a classroom teacher?

A: Any teacher at the school can submit photos on behalf of their class. For instance, an art, PE, health, FACS or other teacher can lead the project and make the submission. If the classroom is made up of students of different grade levels, please mark your entry according to the highest grade level represented in the classroom.

Q: Can I send our submission on a DVD or email rather than through your website?

A: Yes, as long as the files are in a universal format that we’ll be able to open, save, etc. Please mail DVDs in padded envelopes to KC Healthy Kids/Champions for Health, 650 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS, 66101. Entries must arrive at our office by 5:00 pm on contest deadline. Emailed entries are due by 11:59:59 pm on contest deadline.

Q: How submissions judged?

A:  Entries will be judged based on storytelling, visual appeal, potential positive impact of the project, passion conveyed for project, and relevance to healthy eating and active living. Judges will rate each submission as a collection, not individual photos. There is no penalty or bonus for the amount of photos submitted. Judges are volunteers from the Greater Kansas City area. Their decisions are final. Winners will be notified no later than January 31st. In the event a winner does not accept a prize or a winner is ineligible, an alternate winner may be selected.

Q: Most of my students do not have access to digital cameras and we do not have a budget to purchase them. Are pictures taken on a smart phone acceptable?

A: We expect that most of the photos will be taken with smart phones. Please familiarize yourself with our submission standards (copied below from the Contest Instructions). Remind your students not to add filters or other effects. You can also take advantage of the camera reimbursement funds KC Healthy Kids is offering.

Technical Requirements

  • Photographs must be in digital format suitable for printing in media or exhibition display.
  • All digital images should be at least 1,000 pixels wide (if a horizontal image) or 1,000 pixels tall (if a vertical image) and must be in JPEG or JPG format.
  • No print or film submissions will be accepted for entry to the competition.
  • Photos may not be enhanced with filters, frames, type or other effects. Only minor adjustments such as cropping and/or color correction are acceptable. These changes must be clearly noted on your entry.

If you aren’t sure how big your photo is, follow these instructions:

  • On a Mac, open the image file in PREVIEW. Click on TOOLS in the top menu and select GET INFO. A pop-up window will open. Select DETAILS. This will show the pixel height and width of your photo.
  • On a PC, right click on the image file, look at PROPERTIES, and then the SUMMARY tab.
  • is an excellent photo editing website that makes resizing photos easy. Just remember that no filters can be used on submitted photos.

Q: I don’t have a camera for every student in my class, but I’d like for them all to participate in the contest. Any suggestions?

A: Your entire class can participate even if every student doesn’t have a camera to use. Here are some ideas:

  • Have students share cameras. Take a photo of each student at the beginning of his or her turn, so you’ll know who took which photos.
  • Ask family or community volunteers to bring their cameras and join in on walking tours or other activities.
  • Encourage children to use a family member’s camera to take photos at home and then email the pictures to you.

Q: I love this idea but I’m swamped. What should I do?

A: This is an excellent opportunity to engage a parent volunteer (or two!). Ask them to make the submission on your behalf. They would complete the submission forms and organize the photos and captions, and send the final documents to us. That leaves you to do what you do best – teach your students!

Q: My classroom cannot present at the Champions for Health Awards. Can I still enter?

A: Yes. Classrooms that enter but cannot present at the Champions Awards are still eligible for the $100 Honorable Mention Prize. Classrooms must be able to present at the Champions for Health Awards to be eligible for the $1,000 Grade Level Winner and $2,500 Grand Prize.

Q: How do we win the $2,500 Grand Prize?

A: At the Champions for Health Awards, Grade Level Winners will have a chance to share their big ideas and the best pitch will be rewarded with the $2,500 grand prize! ($1,500 in addition to the $1,000 you already won)

Each class will be given 5 minutes to tell the crowd their idea for creating a healthier school or neighborhood. Dream big! What could you accomplish with lots of money and volunteers? What will make a big and lasting impact in improving healthy eating and active living in your school or community?

For inspiration: Watch the previous Grand Prize winning presentation

Basic questions to cover in your pitch:
1. What is making your school or neighborhood unhealthy?
2. How do you plan to fix it?
3. What do you need to succeed?
4. How much will your project cost?
5. How can people in the community help you?
6. Why is this important/Why do you care/ Why are you passionate about your project?

Note: Classrooms must be able to present at the Champions for Health Awards to be eligible for the $1,000 Grade Level Prize and $2,500 Grand Prize.