Texas youth contest created to prevent spread of COVID-19

MGN Online

HARLINGEN — Students across the state have the chance to raise awareness about preventing the spread of the coronavirus and earn prizes in the process.

Kindergarten through 12th grade students are able to enter a Youth-Led Creative Expression Contest by developing a project that promotes COVID-19 protective behaviors, such as mask wearing, social distancing or frequent hand washing.

The campaign is hosted by the UTHealth School of Public Health COVID-19 Communication Group, which represents all six of the school’s campuses and multiple community partners.

First place winners will receive a $300 Walmart e-gift card. Second place winners will receive a $100 Walmart e-gift card. A minimum of five prizes will be awarded in the first and second place categories. Honorable recognition awardees’ submissions will be posted on the UTHealth School of Public Health Facebook page.

According to campaign organizers, the goal of the contest is to engage the youth in developing creative communication materials that communities can use free of charge to promote one or more COVID-19 protective behaviors.

The protective behaviors participants can promote include — mask wearing, social distancing, refraining from touching the eyes, nose and mouth and frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer when soap is not available.

Individual and group submissions are accepted. Creative expression content can be in English or Spanish and may include translation into other languages.

As long as the message is clear and links directly to any of the behaviors that could protect people from contracting COVID-19, students can create their project in a variety of ways.

Participants can use creative channels, such as TikTok or Snapchat to create video recordings that are no longer than 90 seconds. They can also use social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Instagram.

Some other options include — creating photos that highlight key messages, visual arts or illustrations that capture the message in a way that represents their community or region, inspiring music video style content, blogs or testimonies.

Project submissions must be created by a student or students and supported by an identified parent, adult mentor or sponsor. Parent or guardian permission and signature are required with each submission.

Multiple submissions are allowed. Simple, direct and brief content messages, such as short videos are encouraged. Creative expression content should capture the main key messages and link directly to any of the COVID-19 prevention behaviors.

Project submissions must include — the name or names of students participating, the name of their parent, guardian or sponsor, an image or PDF of a signed media consent form for each student involved in the submission, contact information and a location.

Submissions must be submitted by Aug. 30 at https://tinyurl.com/yyzxyauk. Participants will be notified of awards by Sept. 30.

For questions, contact Jacob Szeszulski at Jacob.Szeszulski@uth.tmc.edu for more information about the contest.