A class of fifth graders is getting excited about trees.
Students at Ellis Elementary in Logan are among 12 finalists nationwide in a video contest that could bring the school $10,000 in prize money.
Ellis is the longest continually-running school in the state, and it's in need of a major remodel. That means about 10 big trees that surround the school have to come down, and they'll need to be replaced.
Ellis student Heather Hossmann is one of about 10 students in an after-school video and film making club who helped produce a three-minute clip for the Scotties tissues "Trees Rock" video contest.
"With your help, we can use the prize money to plant new trees to replace the ones that will be torn down when they start remodeling our school," she says in one scene. "This will ensure that future generations of Ellis Eagles will have a place to make their own memories and share their own stories."
The Logan school has a rich tree history. Some have dotted the campus for decades. Others mark special alumni from Ellis, and one, known as the Sweetheart Tree, commemorates a pair of teachers who married after meeting at Ellis. One of those teachers is Greg Cox.
"The whole point of the Scotties "Trees Rock" competition is talking about what trees do for us and how we use them in our communities," said Cox. "They also wanted a story about how we use trees at our schools."
Cox is a fourth grade teacher and runs the after-school video and film making club that produced the clip for the contest. He says multimedia is a good way to teach kids how to better advocate for what they believe in.
"They have opportunities that you or I may have never had going through school," he added. "Their voice can reach around the globe. If they have an issue or a cause, they need to make sure that people can hear that and that they're producing the best thing possible so people will want to listen."
The Scotties company says for every tree it uses, three are planted. It says the video contest helps bring its sustainability message to young people.
“Scotties' passion about the environment can be seen in our 3-to-1 promise where for every one tree we use, we plant three in its place,” says John Robertson, Scotties marketing director. “Over the last 50 years, J.D. Irving, Scotties’ parent company has planted 850 million trees in North America. We are so excited to spread the message of sustainability to the next generation!”
The winner of the grand prize will determined by how many viewers vote for individual videos.