Healthier Hawaii

LIHUE — Kids can earn money, recognition on the floor of the state House of Representatives, and a chance to mingle with legislators through a statewide contest running now through Jan. 31.

And to get there, they can create sculptures, videos, posters and drawings, or write essays.

It’s the fourth annual Hawaii: Next 50 Contest, inspired by former Gov. George Ariyoshi’s book, “Hawaii: The Past Fifty Years, The Next Fifty Years.” The focus is on health and wellness in the state for the next half century, with the goal of directing kids’ creativity toward crafting their own future.

Students grades four through 12 can enter the contest in one of two categories: essay and visual arts.

No schools on Kauai are taking advantage of the contest, said Lindsay Chambers, media specialist with the state Department of Education, but the contest is open to all Hawaii students.

Students can start the contest by reading Ariyoshi’s book. Then they’re asked to answer one question with their multimedia or essay project: What can we do to promote the healthy Hawaii we want to see in the next 50 years?

Students will be guided to think about physical, mental or environmental health issues in Hawaii today, and propose innovative solutions to move Hawaii to the next level of health.

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