Sanford resident Renée (Reny) Morin, was part of a team that produced the first-prize winning video in a competition for kids, winning $50,000 for their school.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in partnership with the Maine Department of Education (DOE), announced the contest on November 3, inviting Maine youth ages 5 to 17 to submit 30-second videos that they believed would encourage other children, along with their parents, to get a COVID-19 vaccine. “I wanted to make the video because I really want the pandemic to be over,” said Reny, a sophomore at The New School in Kennebunk. “I feel like we are so close to beating this thing, so if people could just get vaccinated it would help the whole world.”
“My plunge into the frigid water was worth the sacrifice for the greater good,” said Olie Saywell, also a sophomore. “The New School teaches us how to use our voices to make a positive impact on society,” she added. Reny and Olie are both featured in the video.
Junior Hunter Roberts composed the musical score for the video on his ukulele, and Senior Ian Kruger worked behind the scenes on production and special effects.
“Congratulations to the winners of our Maine Kids COVID-19 Vaccination Video Contest, who displayed creativity, conviction, and courage in their submissions,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah. “We’re grateful to every Maine child and teenager who submitted an entry – they are all public health champions. Thanks to people like them, Maine is quickly getting enough students vaccinated to begin returning to more normal ways of learning and having fun.”