HCA Press Release - OC Health Care Agency Invites Students to Enter Art, Writing or Video Contest

For Immediate Release: October 22, 2020
Contact: Jessica Good, Public Information Manager
Phone: (714) 834-2178 
Email: JGood@ochca.com


OC Health Care Agency Invites Students to Enter Art, Writing or Video Contest

County offering schools tech grants for creative entries that help normalize mask wearing

(Santa Ana, CA) – With many teachers, parents and students struggling with changing school re-opening models, the OC Health Care Agency is offering a fun, creative contest for Orange County students to enter with the chance to win needed technology supplies for their schools. The contest opens today and the deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19. 

The “Mask Message Contest” is designed to help elementary, middle and high school students stay engaged with an independent learning project, while also becoming better informed about the importance of all non-medical means to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including wearing masks to get back to a more normal school year and life. An entry form and rules for the contest can be found at ochealthinfo.com/maskcontest.

Students can enter in art, writing and/or social video categories. A winning mask design will be selected from each of the five Supervisorial Districts and will be produced for students in the winning schools. The winning students’ schools stand to win technology grants of $5,000 to $7,000 in each of the three categories and in each school level. 

“We are counting on Orange County school children and teens to do everything they can to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, so we can get our County to the next tier level and open more schools for in-person learning,” said OC Board of Supervisor Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Second District. 

“It is critical that we continue to normalize responsible mask-wearing, particularly among our youth,” said Vice Chairman Andrew Do, First District, who launched the MaskUpOC contest in his district earlier this summer. “While every child is different, a lot of the times students may have an easier time adjusting to wearing a face mask when they see their classmates wearing one. I look forward to seeing all the artistic submissions from our youth.”

The Mask Message Contest marketing campaign includes community outreach via digital flyers in English and Spanish being sent to more than 200 OC schools participating in an online platform called, PeachJar. Posters will also be printed and distributed to schools with in-person learning models.

“As I mentioned in a recent newsletter, many students and especially disadvantaged children need access to full-time school resources, so anything our Board can do to help promote safely re-opening our schools and economy, I’m all for it,” said Third District Supervisor Donald P. Wagner. “This is a creative way for students to help educate themselves and others on the simple steps we can take to keep each other safe.” 

Fourth District Supervisor Doug Chaffee added, “This contest will not add additional burdens to our hard-working educational professionals. Rather, it’s designed as an independent study project that students are encouraged to complete all on their own. We’ve reached out to the Orange County Department of Education and they are fully supportive.”

Fifth District Supervisor Lisa A. Bartlett added, “I am very excited about this program and the opportunity it provides for our youth to express their creativity and, at the same time, deliver a very important message – please wear a mask! This is a great way for students to help their school earn valuable technology grants and have a fun time doing it!”   

The Mask Message Contest is open to public and private school students as well as charter school students. 

“We want this contest to be as inclusive as possible,” said Dr. Clayton Chau, Director of the OC Health Care Agency and County Health Officer. “It is critical that students help to normalize mask wearing and understand the repercussions of a COVID-19 outbreak in the school system. The last thing we want is to have to close classrooms or schools, quarantine or have sick classmates and teachers.”

Downloadable Mask Message Contest Toolkits with the contest flyer, entry form and social media assets are available for anyone to use and share at ochealthinfo.com/maskcontest.