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Contest to help promote KidCare under way; Local students urged to submit entries

By Staff | Sep 5, 2008

Officials from Florida KidCare — the state’s health insurance program for children younger than 19 — announced Wednesday that it is launching a statewide contest to promote KidCare.

Middle and high school students across the state are encouraged to participate in the “Act Out for Health” contest to create a 30-second public service announcement or print advertisement about KidCare.

Created in 1998, the insurance program is available to an estimated 500,000 uninsured children living in Florida.

For less than $20 each month, and in some circumstances no charge at all, the KidCare program affords children the opportunity to receive preventative examinations and yearly immunizations, as well as dental and eye care.

Overall, it fills insurance coverage gaps for children whose parents cannot afford health insurance but whose yearly salary is too high for Medicaid.

“A recent study by the University of Florida Institute for Child Health Policy revealed the highest percentage of uninsured children in the state are kids between the ages of 12 and 18,” said Rich Robleto, executive director of Florida Healthy Kids.

The contest is designed to employ adolescents to create advertisements geared for other adolescents, officials explained. A first and second place winner will be chosen from six regions across the state, and a grand prize winner will be chosen from that group.

Grand prize winners for the print and commercial categories will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship. Winning commercials could be aired live on television and the print advertisements could appear in newspapers or magazines throughout the state.

Other prizes include a donation to a winning student’s school and Best Buy gift cards.

Annie Butterworth, spokesperson for the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, said the program is encouraging students across the state to participate.

“We are encouraging all of the middle and high school students to participate,” said Butterworth.

Teachers and administrators across the state in public, private and charter schools were recently e-mailed contest information, she said.

The contest Web site includes information on the contest for students as well as tips on how teachers can incorporate the contest into their daily lessons.

Last year three technology students from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee won the commercial contest.

All entries must be received by 4 p.m. Dec. 5. For information, contest rules and an entry form, visit: www.actout4health.org.