$15,000 Cash Awarded to SC Students Today by First Lady Jenny Sanford and State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex

March 19, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – March 19, 2008 – This morning First Lady Jenny Sanford and State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex presented students with over $15,000 in cash and prizes for their winning videos in the 2007-2008 Healthy SC School Video Contest, bringing total cash awards to $25,000.  They also issued a challenge to all media, schools, and teachers to support the next phase of the contest by airing the videos as public service announcements, broadcasting them in schools, and using them as teaching materials in the classroom.

Today’s event marked the end of this four month contest which challenged South Carolina middle and high school students to create commercial like videos about the importance of healthy lifestyles.  Students from schools across the state created videos to compete in this online contest and hundreds of thousands of votes were cast by SC students judging at OurStage.com which hosted the video competition on a channel created solely for this contest.

Mrs. Sanford spoke about the importance of educating students about good nutrition, regular exercise and the perils of smoking.  She remarked, Our students inherently know what is good for their health and they have incredibly clever ways of communicating that to one another.  Their videos are entertaining and informative and can help educate young and old alike. Our state must continue to improve its overall health and our youth can help to lead the way.  Mrs. Sanford also thanked the sponsors of this creative contest, particularly Blue Cross Blue Shield and Coca Cola Bottling Company Consolidated.

Anyone can download the videos at Mrs. Sanford’s Healthy SC Challenge website-www.healthysc.gov, and teachers can access as well through
ETV’s Know It All website -www.knowitall.org.    

Each month, the top two ranked videos and the schools of those videos received cash and prizes.  Mrs. Sanford honored November and December winners in separate press events. An outside advisory panel selected by Mrs. Sanford awarded a Special Prize to two videos. Reid Hunter, a student at Round Top Elementary, received an honorable mention for his Healthy Living video as he was too young to qualify for the cash awards.

Special Prize: James Fonger and Melton Bristow from Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia and Aubria Summons, Emani Livingston, Deandre Griffin, Arnasia James, Savon Johnson, Wesley Tolan, Erin Boyd and Tajuan Huiett from Gibbes Middle School in Columbia

February: Winner and Runner-up, Jason Smith from Project Challenge in Anderson

January: Winner, Emily Leising from Daniel High School in Central and Runner-up, Noah Smith from Fine Arts Center in Greenville

December: Winner, Danny Drescher from Fine Arts Center in Greenville and Runner-up, Reginald Scott, Dasiree Manigault, Judson Butler, Clarissa Lesueu, Shar – keas Jones, and Courtney Button from Garrett Academy in North Charleston

November: Winner, Emma Hecker from Wando High School in Charleston and Runner-up Jesse Gavigan from Boys and Girls Club Teen Center in Beaufort

Sponsors of the contest include OurStage, BlueCross Blue Shield of SC, Coca Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Wal-Mart, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, Subway, Palmetto Project, DHEC, WACH Fox and ETV.