Creative efforts promote safety
Epidemiologists, governors and sports figures have churned out lots of educational messaging about COVID, but sometimes children deliver the clearest — and most compelling — message.
Almost 50 kids from kindergarten through 12th grade used their creativity, imagination — and solid scientific research — to create videos to inform their communities about how to protect themselves against COVID during the state’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order this spring.
The “COVID-eo” contest, sponsored by North Central Accountable Community of Health (NCACH), awarded prizes for all the entries, including two from Methow Valley youths.
Six-year-old Briar Young, of Winthrop, turned to her “talking” baby chick Shadow for safety tips.
Shadow quizzes Briar about various activities. Can we visit our friends? No, but we can video-chat with them, Briar explains. Can we go to school? No, but we can read books at home, Briar says, with enthusiasm. Briar, do we know when this will end? No, but we can be grateful for each day.
“My mom helped with the video. We thought the chicken was cute and wanted to include him,” Briar said. Although Shadow is very patient, she wasn’t too happy about her screen debut, so they had to do a few takes and piece it together, Briar said.
The video could launch an artistic career for Briar, who starts first grade in the fall. “In my imagination, I make videos all the time. I want to be a YouTuber and to work with animals,” she said.
Briar won first prize for her age group.
Members of the Tomatich family, of Twisp, took second prize for their energetic version of the Pamela Pupkin Quarantine Dance that’s been making the rounds on TikTok.
Tevin, age 8, and Kaylee, age 4, were joined by their cousin Danica Treise, age 5, in quarantine work-out exercises including hand-washing and abdominal crunches for sanitizing and disinfecting.
The kids had been doing yoga to get exercise during the school closure, Amanda Tomatich, Tevin and Kaylee’s mother, said. “So we turned it into a fun video to promote how to stay safe during COVID-19,” she said.
Some videos take a scientific angle, like one showing how soap breaks down the fatty layer of the coronavirus, destroying the infectious core. Another kid hosted a sports recap of the top five ways to prevent the spread of the virus, displaying necessary gear like a mask, gloves, and tape measure.
NCACH came up with the idea in March to give kids a creative, educational outlet when school was closed and everyone had to stay home, NCACH Practice Facilitator Mariah Brown said. The contest was open to children from Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas and Grant counties.
Prizes were awarded in four age groups — kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade, and ninth through 12th grade. People were encouraged to vote for their favorites, and judges added their own evaluations, Brown said.
All kids got a prize. First prize was a choice of a Chromebook, smartwatch, wireless earbuds, or a $150 gift card to Target or Walmart. Other prizes ranged from $50 to $20.
NCACH has an ongoing contest where people can show their appreciation by nominating an essential worker at thankncw.com. “We hear so much negativity — we wanted to do promote a bright spot while we’re under restrictions,” Brown said.
All the COVID-eos can be watched at https://www.woobox.com/9troqi. Briar and Shadow are on the second page, in the middle of the top row. The Tomatich clan are on the second page, in the middle of the third row.