Prizes Awarded to Students for "Focus on Health" Videos

Thursday, March 8, 2012
By Allyson Hagen

Allyson Hagen, OPI, 406-444-3160
Katie Bark, MT Team Nutrition, 406-994-5641

Prizes Awarded to Students for "Focus on Health" Videos
Positive Examples of Health and Wellness in Schools Highlighted

This winter Montana students from Kindergarten through 12th grade created short videos to submit to OPI's Focus on Health Youth Video Contest. Students were asked to demonstrate positive examples of healthy changes and practices in their schools. Fifteen videos were submitted from across the state competing for the top three prizes and a People’s Choice Award. All the winning teams will be awarded cash prizes and part or all of their videos will be featured at statewide conferences and on the Montana Team Nutrition website. 

The grand prize was awarded to the video “You Are What You Eat” by the Jefferson High School team. It was created by Justin Ryan, Will Bruce, Connor Lachenbruch, and Clint Forrette under the guidance of Language Arts teacher Mike Hesford and Montana Food Corps volunteer Lea Howe. In their video, students show how diet can affect behavior. Also featured in the video is a community garden where the Jefferson High culinary class receives produce.  Both the elementary and middle schools in Boulder have school gardens, and Ms. Howe is creating a program in which high school students use the gardens to teach and mentor younger students. 

Superintendent Juneau stated, "The Focus on Health contest gave students an opportunity to be creative and to highlight the great work happening in Montana's lunchrooms and classrooms to promote healthy eating and wellness." She continued, "Montana schools are improving access to fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and local food, educating students about the origins of food and healthy eating and getting students up and moving. These videos celebrate all of that hard work." 

Kalispell Middle School’s team was awarded the second place prize and the People’s Choice Award by receiving the most votes from the general public. Kalispell Middle School’s filmmaking team explored positive changes in their cafeteria, including a new salad bar, and their school’s widespread support of physical activity through a multitude of activities such as a climbing wall, spinning bikes and exercise courses. 

The ProStart class at Red Lodge High School received third place for their video “The Curious Case of Our Food,” which is an investigation of their community’s food system and the origin of food in the school cafeteria. The students worked with the school’s food services to make 400 servings of Pumpkin Bread Pudding for a Local Food Day celebration using local pumpkins, grains of Montana breads and Montana’s Meadow Gold dairy products.

All videos can be viewed online at:

The Focus on Health Youth Video Competition was organized by the Montana Team Nutrition Program.  Montana Team Nutrition works with educators, school administrators, school food service managers, parent groups and community members to provide training and technical assistance centered on implementing student wellness through school-based programs, like school meal programs, nutrition education and physical activity. Located at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana Team Nutrition is part of the Office of Public Instruction School Nutrition Programs and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 


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