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Kids Making Better Choices DVD Garners National Spotlight at RC&D Meeting

By Charlie Meek, Coordinator, Northwest AL RC&D Council, Tuscumbia, AL

Alabama Representative (District 1) Tammy Irons with Steve
Alabama Representative (District 1) Tammy Irons
with Steve "Trash" Richerson.

The Northwest AL RC&D Council was selected to do a success story presentation at the 2009 National RC&D Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The RC&D was selected from among 375 Councils to showcase the successful statewide project titled “Kids Making Better Choices DVD.”

This project showcased an educational DVD that was written and produced in northwest Alabama and distributed to over 900 primary schools statewide.  Funding for the project was provided by the AL RC&D Council and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. 

The project was the brain child of Steve Richerson of Frog Pond, Alabama, which is located in rural Franklin County.  Steve grew up in the Shoals area and has enjoyed a successful career as an eco-entertainer and has traveled the globe sharing an environmental message using magic tricks as the character “Steve Trash” (www.stevetrash.com). 

Steve was also able to incorporate his passion for filmmaking and directing by producing the video employing local Alabama film crew talent through his company Concrete Dream Pictures.  The DVD was developed to help kids make better eating and exercise choices. Kids today face many very serious health issues, and they need good quality information presented in an inspiring and fun way.  From the smiles and cheers shared by elementary age children at the premier and other viewings, the DVD is a resounding success and has potential to change lives for many years to come!

The Northwest AL RC&D Council was thrilled that Steve could fit the National RC&D meeting into his busy schedule. Steve really worked the crowd in New Mexico and the Council has received numerous inquiries about the DVD since the meeting.  RC&D has also shared several copies of the DVD with people in Australia and Ghana, Africa. 

One key component of the DVD project is that its future use is unlimited thanks to the Creative Common Licensing.  As the Kids Making Better Choices DVD was created under a Creative Commons License, this allows people to copy and share the entire video legally, as long as the sharer gives credit to the copyright holders, does not change the content, and shares, but doesn't sell the content.  Aside from downloads available on the Steve Trash website, clips of the DVD can be viewed on YouTube.

The Kids Making Better Choices DVD has been officially endorsed by the national kid friendly vetting organization Kids First. Steve Richerson considers this a great honor to be endorsed by national organizations... particularly those that are kid oriented! Steve is also a past state level RC&D Award winner for his live “Trash and Recycle” magic shows.

The Kids Making Better Choices DVD Project has been a magic carpet ride for the Northwest RC&D Council, staff, and partners.  The energy and passion of Steve Richerson is truly amazing.