COLUMBIA, SC- October 18, 2007— First Lady Jenny Sanford and State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex joined together on the State House steps to issue South Carolina students (ages 13 through high school) a healthy challenge: create a 30 to 60 second video advertisement that addresses the importance of healthy living or chronic disease prevention and compete to win. The First Lady and Superintendent issued a further challenge to all South Carolinians: help us view these videos online and we all pick the winners!
Mrs. Sanford pointed out that today’s children face much higher risks of developing chronic diseases and other health complications.
She commented, Our high rates of overeating, smoking and sedentary activity have led us to a crisis of epic proportions. As a state, we continue to get fatter and less healthy. These patterns of indulgence and laziness translate over time into hypertension, diabetes, asthma and other chronic diseases. Our unhealthy lifestyles are literally bankrupting our state’s healthcare system while robbing our children of a productive future. It’s clear that we all need to take a different approach to addressing the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle because whatever has been done in the past obviously isn’t working.
The new weapon in Mrs. Sanford’s state-wide battle against obesity and chronic diseases is the Healthy SC School Video Contest, sponsored by and hosted on OurStage.com, the only purely democratic online competition where the fans decide who’s the best in emerging video and music. Students are being challenged to create healthy TV-type advertisements in order to increase awareness in South Carolina of the link between the national obesity epidemic and high rates of chronic disease and to further educate SC children of the need to live well and to prevent chronic disease.
OurStage CEO Ben Campbell, stated, We’re glad to be partnering with Healthy SC Challenge and First Lady Jenny Sanford to offer the only 100% democratic online platform to help find the best student video in this contest. We’re proud to play a part in increasing awareness of this very important issue.
Students will upload their videos to OurStage.com, and all South Carolinians will be encouraged to view and judge these videos on OurStage through their unique judging engine which ensures that each piece is judged fairly by the viewers*no rigging and no cheating.
Dr. Jim Rex said, Here in South Carolina, far too many of us face a higher risk of developing chronic disease and other health complications. That’s one reason why it’s important that our young people develop healthy habits early. The South Carolina Department of Education is proud to be a part of this initiative and these efforts to help us all live longer, happier lives.
In addition to partnering with the Department of Education, South Carolina Association of Independent Schools, the Catholic Schools Diocese and other school organizations, the Healthy SC School Video Contest has a great group of sponsors who are providing cash and prizes for the top videos. This is a chance for students to win $20,000 total in cash prizes as well as prize packages for them and their schools from the contest sponsors: OurStage.com, Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Subway, Palmetto Project and Wal-Mart.
Through the Healthy SC Challenge and the Family Fitness Challenge Mrs. Sanford has worked to spread the word on the importance of chronic disease prevention. The Healthy SC School Video Contest is an opportunity for her to communicate these issues to students and others in an innovative way.
Mrs. Sanford said, Children can be incredibly creative and this is an attempt to let them teach one another and all of us on their level and in their hip world. My hope is this challenge will be fun and informative for all and that together we can raise the bar and improve our collective health.
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease is pleased to sponsor Healthy South Carolina’s video challenge for our students, said Tim Ervolina, President of the United Way Association of South Carolina and PFCD Advisory Board member.
Mr. Ervolina sums it up best- Experts are predicting that unless we reverse the increasing rates of chronic disease in America, many in this generation of children will have a lower life expectancy than their parents. Education and awareness are critical first steps.
To enter the contest or to vote, go to www.healthysc.gov and click on the OurStage logo which will direct you to the customized video channel created solely for this contest by OurStage.com.
For more information about the Healthy SC School Video Contest, please visit www.healthysc.gov or contact Curry Hagerty in the Office of the First Lady at 803.737.4772.