Monday, June 1, 2015 | 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School

It is our hope that youth will show us their voices through the arts and discover that creative expression and activism can have a positive impact on the individual and on our collective health. In the RIA contest 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in Boston and Cambridge use written, visual and performing arts to tell us about something that affects health in their communities.

On RIA Day, a day of celebrating healthy lifestyles, students who enter the RIA contest visit Harvard Medical School for a full day of educational activities, demonstrations, recognition and prizes. In the morning, performance category winners perform their winning entries to a large audience of students, teachers and parents. The RIA Youth Leadership Award and the Ruth M. Batson Social Justice Award recipients are honored. The visual art winning entries are exhibited throughout the building for all attendees and the medical school community to enjoy. The RIA program book highlights written category winning entries as well additional contest entrants, funders, sponsors and community partners who support the program.

Following lunch students participate in a Health Bowl (a Jeopardy-like game which tests students’ knowledge of health issues in their community), and educational activities and demonstrations that spotlight fitness and nutrition, linking the Let’s MOVE! campaign with RIA. The day concludes with the contest award ceremony where the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category and honorable mentions are announced. The winners receive cash prizes and all students who entered the contest receive certificates of participation. The RIA raffle wraps-up the day’s festivities and affords students prizes that may include apparel, movie passes, New England sports teams memorabilia, passes to area museums and other novelty items.

Students who enter the contest are invited to attend the late-spring event. They must live in Boston or Cambridge, or attend Boston or Cambridge schools, organizations, after-school programs, community programs or religious institution in order to be eligible to enter. Students may submit entries through their schools, their after-school programs, their churches, any other community agency or independently. Every student who attends must pre-register and be accompanied by a teacher, parent, or a chaperone.