Contest Asks Youth, Adults to Create Compelling Infographics Using Data on U.S. Children

September 4, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contest Asks Youth, Adults to Create Compelling Infographics Using Data on U.S. Children
Use KIDS COUNT data to tell a visual story for a chance to win a laptop and graphics suite

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Annie E. Casey Foundation and SparkAction are partnering to launch the KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge on September 5, 2012. The challenge is a crowdsourced contest that offers prizes to young people and adults for creating compelling graphics that tell a story about the well-being of U.S. children using data from the Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Center.

The Data Center is the nation’s leading source of comprehensive data on children, youth and families, with hundreds of measures of well-being in such areas as education, health and economic stability. The challenge aims to put these numbers in context, showing the impact on communities and real lives and illustrating the obstacles facing today’s children and families.

“The latest KIDS COUNT data show both promising progress and discouraging setbacks for the nation’s children,” said Laura Speer, the Casey Foundation’s associate director for policy reform and data. “Infographics can help people understand the data and show the disparities in child and youth well-being among states and communities, and among racial and ethnic groups.”

Contestants will use the KIDS COUNT data to design engaging infographics or other visual/multimedia presentations and mobilize their social networks—Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest—to vote for their submissions. Guidelines, rules and sample entries are available at SPARKACTION.ORG/INFO-CHALLENGE. More examples can be found on SparkAction’s Pinterest page. The top two entrants will win state-of-the-art laptops.

“KIDS COUNT data have helped drive significant improvements in policies and, most importantly, in neighborhoods and people's lives. It is powerful stuff,” said Caitlin Johnson, managing director of SparkAction. “But data points can often feel abstract, so it’s exciting to see them come alive through creative graphics and visuals — and especially to see young people interpret the information that matters most to them.”

SparkAction has run several successful online multimedia contests, including the “SparkOpportunity” challenge in support of the White House Council on Community Solutions, for which Jon Bon Jovi served as a spokesman, and the “Ask the Secretary” contest, in which young people submitted questions that were answered by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. These contests generated more than 1.4 million impressions/views on Facebook and 205,000 on Twitter in a single week, and reached a peak rate of 150,000 site visitors per month.

The KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge will accept entries September 5-30, 2012. Voting will begin October 1, 2012 and the winners will be announced in November.

# # #

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private national philanthropy that creates better futures for the nation’s children by strengthening families, building economic opportunities and transforming neighborhoods into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. For more information, visit www.aecf.org.

SparkAction is a collaborative journalism and advocacy website to mobilize action by and for children and youth. Its stories and action tools help concerned young people and adults get informed and get involved across the full range of issues affecting children, youth and families. For more information, visit sparkaction.org.