Lundahl Seventh Grader Wins National PSA Contest
Lundahl seventh grader Colleen McSweeney has been selected as the middle school winner for a national Protect Your Eyes PSA contest. The contest, open to students in grades 6-12, is hosted by ThinkAboutYourEyes.com and supported by The Vision Council and WeAreTeachers.com.
According to Kimberley Moran, education strategist/creative manager for WeAreTeachers.com, this is the first year for the contest and 125 entries were submitted. Winners were selected by WeAreTeachers judges and announced on the WeAreTeachers website. Two winners (one from middle school and one from high school) were chosen and each will receive a college scholarship of $1,500 and have their winning PSAs made into a video for The Vision Council. The videos will be posted on the council’s website and on social media.
McSweeney’s PSA was submitted by 7th grade science teacher Amanda Stone as part of a class assignment during XLT (extended learning time). The focus for the unit was research, reading, writing, creativity and critical thinking. Students learned about PSAs and were charged with finding and sharing examples of PSAs, as well as analyzing their effectiveness. Students researched eye protection and health and created storyboards for PSAs on that topic. They peer-edited their storyboards using the contest's grading rubric and made multiple drafts of their work before the final version was submitted to the contest by Ms. Stone. The storyboards were graded on originality and creativity, the concept of protecting your eyes, the effectiveness and clarity of the message, and the quality of the writing.
McSweeney was recognized by the Lundahl student body at a recent assembly. "Surprising Colleen at our assembly was such a special moment,” Stone said. “The students cheered and eagerly congratulated her. Her parents came out and they were so proud.”
“It was fun doing the research and finding facts,” McSweeney said. “It’s crazy how many parents don’t take their kids to the eye doctor and the problems that happen as a result of that.”
McSweeney said the contest has changed her mindset and has given her more confidence in school. “I study harder now for tests because I know I can do well on them.”