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AMERIGROUP Foundation and Union City Board of Education Announce Winners of 'Word About Health' Contest

Statewide Annual Essay Contest Challenged Students to Submit Thoughts About Healthy Living

WEST NEW YORK, N.J., Feb. 26, 2009 /PRNewswire/ -- The AMERIGROUP Foundation and Union City Board of Education announced the winners of the annual WORD About Health Contest during a special luncheon at The Lighthouse Restaurant in West New York, NJ.

The statewide contest challenges students to submit essays, poems or rap lyrics that best communicate their understanding of nutrition and drug-free living. The contest was open to all sixth graders in Union City public schools. A total of 13 winners were announced (1st and 2nd prize level for each of the six participating public schools) and one District Prize winner. Prizes for the top essays include a 30 Gigabyte iPod, iPod Nano and a 1 Gigabyte iPod Shuffle.

The winning students listed by 1st prize and then 2nd prize are: Daniel Hernandez and Johanna Gordillo of Woodrow Wilson School, Francisco Gazmuri and Gina Zotamba of George Washington School, Steven Aroca and Jose Merchan of Thomas A. Edison School, Jeremy Antor and George Antor of Roosevelt School, Joel H. Reyes and Aisha Berroa of Robert Waters School and Lilyana Abreu and Jazlyn Acevede of Jose Marti Middle School. The District Grand Prize winner was Chelsie Scarafile of Woodrow Wilson School.

The winning students read their essays out loud to the group, which included Supervisor of Board of Education Stanley A. Sanger, Supervisor of Academic Programs Lucy Soovajian, school principals, vice principals, sixth grade teachers, literacy coaches and the students' parents and family members.

District winner Chelsie Scarafile, educated participants about the importance of exercise and playing sports while reading her essay, written in a rap format, entitled, "Exercise Is Not Lame!"

One hundred essays were judged by a panel of community volunteers who included Layne Johnson, PhD and biomedical consultant, Jeanne McMahon of Hudson Perinatal Consortium, Nadia Cabana, Director, of The ARC of Hudson County, Benjamin J. Dineen, Director of Resource Development & Marketing United Way of Hudson County.

The AMERIGROUP Foundation is the philanthropic arm of AMERIGROUP Corporation, a multi-state managed healthcare company based in Virginia Beach, Va. The Foundation works to create healthy communities by fostering access to healthcare, encouraging safe and healthy children and families, and promoting community improvement and healthy neighborhoods. For more information about the AMERIGROUP Foundation, visit

    Kent Jenkins
    (757) 473-2737, ext. 44925

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