Photo contest winners will get big bucks to make their communities healthier



KC Healthy Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of Greater Kansas City’s children, has announced the recipients of six $1,000 first place awards for I Am Here, the nonprofit’s youth photo contest designed to empower students to speak out for healthy communities. The winning classrooms will use their awards to promote student wellness.

The winning classrooms are:

  • 3rd Grade: Border Star Montessori, Katie Wolfe, Kansas City Public Schools
  • 4th Grade: Stony Point North Elementary School, Ray Lipovac, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
  • 5th Grade: Meadowbrook Elementary, Sarah Farsace, North Kansas City School District
  • 6th Grade: Prairie Elementary, Laura Moore, Shawnee Mission School District
  • 7th Grade: Summit Lakes Middle School, Heather Crain, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District
  • 8th Grade: Missouri City School, Jill Payton, Missouri City School District

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At a ceremony this spring, students will give “Shark Tank” style presentations and ask audience members to get involved in their projects. A grand prize winner will be announced, and that school will receive $2500 to make lasting change in their community.

Through the contest, teachers helped students 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. Hundreds of students were involved in the contest and submitted captioned photos illustrating how their communities help and hinder healthy habits.

The ceremony will be March 2, 5:30 p.m. at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center at 4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO 64110. Tickets can be purchased online and event proceeds help KC Healthy Kids reshape our region for a brighter future. Funds raised also benefit Greater Kansas City’s schools through I Am Here’s cash awards. Event sponsorships are still available.

Eighteen schools received $100 Honorable Mention Awards

Charter & Private Schools

  • Keyonia Cobbins, Academy for Integrated Arts
  • Andrea Cook, Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology
  • Asha Moore, Academy for Integrated Arts
  • Ashlee Smith, Summit Christian Academy

Platte County R-3 School District

  • Tyler Crawford, Pathfinder Elementary

North Kansas City School District

  • Sarah Farsace (3rd and 4th grades) , Meadowbrook Elementary

Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools

  • Kristina Kidwell, Whittier Elementary
  • Sabrina Rauer, M.E. Pearson Elementary
  • Ray Lipovac (5th grade), Stony Point North Elementary School
  • Sildiane Quinteros, Whittier Elementary

Kansas City Public Schools

  • Peggy Everist, J.A. Rogers Elementary

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District

  • Cheryl McLaughlin, Hazel Grove Elementary
  • Julie Coram, Trailridge Elementary
  • Liz Mayes, Pleasant Lea Middle School
  • Joel Staponski, Pleasant Lea Middle School
  • Stu Reece, Bernard Campbell Middle S

Turner Unified School District 202

  • Melissa Huskey, Midland Trail Elementary
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