Girl power wins awards, helps others
Olivia Meyer, left, and Olivia Reed each made a sacrifice to help cancer victims.
Taking top honors in a statewide video contest and donating ponytails for a good cause -- learn about these young Murietans here.
A budding videomaker in Rancho Murieta
After winning an award for her video documentary “Animal Ark” at the California Student Media Festival, Kristiana Perris was interviewed by PBS-Southern California at the Orange County High School for the Arts earlier this month. More than 6,000 students from across the state produced media and multimedia projects for the festival.
Kristiana Perris, a third-grader at Cosumnes River Elementary School, competed in the K-6 division to take top honors in the Independent Student Project category with the video she produced about an animal sanctuary near Reno she visited on vacation. She also took first place honors for “Animal Ark” and “K-9 Dogs,” her video about the training of law-enforcement dogs, in this year’s Student Educational Video Awards contest for Sacramento County students.
Kristiana won her first SEVA as a first-grader with a video about making pancakes, a Saturday tradition at the Perris home. She comes by her interest in movie-making naturally. Her father, Chris Perris, teaches film at Elitha Donner Elementary School, and three of his students also won California Student Media Festival honors this year.
You can see “Animal Ark” here on YouTube.
Hair story -- the long and short of it
Two young Murieta girls named Olivia are starting the summer with short hair after donating to a program that helps provide free wigs to women undergoing cancer treatment.
"I was really proud of her," said Erin Reed of her 8-year-old daughter’s decision to grow her hair and donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Olivia’s donation was inspired by a family friend’s experience with cancer.
Olivia Reed sports her new 'do with stylist Tamara Willeford.
After Olivia got her hair cut, her proud mother posted pictures and information about the program on Facebook, where Lisa Meyer saw the entry and thought of her own Olivia, age 10. The two girls have known each other since they were in preschool, and her daughter also "felt strongly” about donating her hair, Lisa Meyer said. With a family member and a family friend undergoing cancer treatment, "I think Olivia just kind of put all the pieces together and decided that'd be a good thing to do. ... She wanted to do that for both of them.”
Beautiful Lengths is a partnership between the Pantene hair care company and the American Cancer Society that supplies free wigs for adult women cancer patients. It takes six of the eight-inch-long ponytails to make a wig. The donated hair can’t be gray or chemically treated, which makes children’s hair ideal.
Lisa Meyer noted that it’s not uncommon for Rancho Murieta girls her daughter’s age to want to help someone by growing their hair. Often they donate their ponytails to Locks of Love, which requires that the hair be 10 inches long. Locks of Love provides wigs for children who suffer from alopecia areata, an auto-immune disorder that causes hair loss.
Olivia Meyer donated that much hair to the cause.
Erin Reed learned about the Beautiful Lengths program from hair stylist Tamara Willeford, a resident who’s a member of Team Cutting for a Cure in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
The Beautiful Lengths program worked well for the two Olivias. The shorter length requirement meant it didn’t take the girls as long to grow their hair, and the use of the hair for cancer patients "gives them something tangible that they can do," Lisa Meyer said. “It was fun to see the ponytail. ... She's like, 'Oh, it's great for summer.'"