KC Healthy Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of area children, is launching its second annual “I Am Here” Youth Photo Contest to teach students to speak out for healthy communities.

The photo contest asks students to work together with their classmates to submit up to 5 pairs of captioned photos illustrating two themes: “How My Environment Helps Me Be Healthy” and “How My Environment Does Not Help Me Be Healthy.”

Teachers are encouraged to work with their students to get them thinking critically about their communities' features, such as walking trails or broken sidewalks, safe playgrounds or blighted lots, schoolyard gardens or fast food restaurants. Six awards of $1,000 will be presented at a ceremony in spring 2015.

The contest is open to third through eighth grade classrooms and summer school programs in incorporated schools in Jackson, Cass, Clay and Platte counties in Missouri, and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in. Home schools or clubs not affiliated with public or private schools are not eligible.

Submissions will be accepted through Nov. 22, 2014. Winners will be notified in January 2015. Application forms, contest instructions, and awards information are available at kchealthykids.org/iamhere.