Riordan Clinic Holds 2nd Annual “Health Is…” Essay Contest

To promote enhanced health awareness in schools, the Riordan Clinic recently held its 2nd annual “Health Is…” essay contest for Wichita 5th graders. Judging is complete and the winners have been announced.

The 2011-2012 “Health Is…” essay contest was open to any 5th grade student in USD 259. Students were asked to write an essay communicating what health means to them. Essays were judged on originality, clarity, motivational impact, and emphasis on health (verses focus on disease). Monetary prizes totaling $1700 were awarded to the top 3 entries and their supervising teachers during classroom ceremonies. The first place entry was also published in the Riordan Clinic’s March 2012 issue of the Health Hunters Newsletter with readership of 4800. The newsletter can be viewed on our website here.

1st Prize – Jack Setser, Ms. Christie Gough at Riverside Leadership Magnet Elementary

2nd Prize – Tiffany Stanton, Mrs. Sharon Goodwin at Benton Elementary

3rd Prize – Stephanie Waltermire, Ms. Linda Murphy at Woodland Health and Wellness Magnet Elementary

My Health Is… by Jack Setser

Jack Setser with his prize money.
Jack Setser with his prize money.

As I run around the soccer field, I start to think how important my health is to my spectacular life. Physical health helps me finish a race. It helps me in my life when I need to do a pushup test in P.E. I rest for a good day of fitness.

How I feel about myself helps me learn things in school and everywhere. The way I feel is very important to my health. I need to respect myself by smiling and having fun.

Friendships are important to my health. Working with others makes me feel good. I know I have helped them in some ways and they have helped me too.

Nutrition is important to my health. I eat baby carrots each day in my lunch. It’s important not to skip meals. I need to remember to eat healthy and I just might live longer.

Exercising, respecting myself, friendships, and nutrition all help me stay healthy.

My Health Is… by Tiffany Stanton

Tiffany with her teacher & RC rep.
Tiffany Stanton with her teacher & RC rep.

It was a hot day and Sadie was just drawing in her backyard when a flying disc appeared and landed right in front of Sadie. Two purple blobs jumped out. (It reminded Sadie of Veggie Tales.)

“Who are you?” Sadie asked.

“I am Elactic-but you can call me E, and this is T-call him Terrestrial. We have come to take some medicine from this planet. Our neighbors are getting sick and fat. We want to help them.”

“Um, I don’t know how to make medicine,” Sadie said. “But I can tell you some ways to be healthy. Would that help?” E and T nodded.

“Okay…well,” Sadie began. “One way to stay healthy is to get enough sleep. You should get at least 8 hours of sleep a day. Another way to stay healthy is to exercise. Running-um, whatever you guys do to exercise should be good.”

“I don’t think my cousin can hop,” E said. “He is much too fat.”

“Then he can do water aerobics,” Sadie replied. “That would probably help. Anyway, a third way to stay healthy is to eat the right foods.”

“Oh yes!” T said, “Now whenever I get hungry I’ll…”

“Actually you shouldn’t eat too much-you’ll just get fat like you cousin!”

“Oh okay! Then I’ll just eat greens for every meal. They seem healthy.”

“Not just green vegetables,” Sadie said. “You should eat all colors of food.”

Just then, a bee stung T. “OWWWW!” he screamed. “I AM SO GOING TO SQUIRT THAT BEE!”

“What does he mean by ‘squirt’?” Sadie asked.

“When we get so mad we squirt stuff out of our antennas,” E explained.

“Wait!” shrieked Sadie. “Your feelings are part of your health!”

“Huh…” the angry alien seemed to calm down. “How?”

“When you are happy your body makes good chemicals. When you are mad your body makes bad chemicals.”

“How do you know?” T asked.

“The doctor told me!” Sadie said.

“We learned so much today,” E said. “We learned to get enough sleep, exercise, eat the right amount and colors of food, and that feelings affect your health. But, there is one question I want to ask: What is health?”

“Ummm…well…I guess… I guess it is what condition your body is in after the way you’ve taken care of it.” Sadie answered.

“Okay, well we’d better get going. We are going to be late for dinner,” T said.

“Remember to eat your colors!” advised Sadie. “Oh! And you should drink plenty of water.”

“Hurry, let’s get out of here before she tells us everything!” E said. So the aliens jumped into the disc and it made a zap noise. Then, the disc rose and sped away.

“Sadie! Dinner-time.”

“Coming mom.”

So Sadie, E, and T all had a healthy dinner.


My Health Is… by Stephanie Waltermire

Stephanie with her parents
Stephanie Waltermire with her parents.

Hello, my name is Stephanie Waltermire. I live in Wichita Kansas and I am 10 years old. I attend Woodland Health and Wellness Magnet Elementary School, because being healthy is very important to me. The School I attend incorporates physical and educational habits.

Being healthy is very important; some things you can do to keep yourself healthy are going to dentist twice a year for a checkup. Drinking lots of water will keep you from getting dehydrated. Playing outside and being active will help you get plenty of exercise to stay fit.

Brush, floss, and rinse your teeth at least twice a day will help keep your mouth and teeth from getting bacteria or plaque buildup. You should also get a new tooth brush twice a year.

Drinking lots of water will help you keep from getting dehydrated and may even keep you from eating too much. Woodland Health and Wellness gives each student a water bottle to help them keep from becoming dehydrated and also to help stop students from getting germs from water fountains that they may get from drinking out of them.

Exercising is necessary here at Woodland Health and Wellness, the school incorporates Structured Activity, it’s like recess but better, because everyone is involved in an activity and no one gets left out and every student is moving at all times.

Other things, such as eating fruits and vegetables can keep you healthy by giving you nutrients. If you let the food pyramid be your guide you will get just as much food as you need and will not over or under eat.

Washing your hands after using the restroom can prevent you and other people from getting diseases.

When I am older I am going to take nursing classes so I can provide other people with things that may keep them around longer in difficult times.

I hope that the other students in my school learn how to be healthy and stay healthy and may even teach their family members or other people that they know to be healthy!

Follow these steps and you will succeed at being healthy.