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SAYREVILLE – Dr. Mariana Blagoev, a dentist in the Parlin section of the borough, wants to encourage youth in her area to do good deeds in the community, so she is conducting a video contest for all children and young people, up to age 18. Videos must be submitted by May 15th, and the winner will be announced in early May.

“We have just started the contest,” Blagoev said. “There are lots of positive responses from parents and kids. We are looking forward to see what will come in.”

Blagoev’s philosophy, based on classic conditioning — a basic psychological theory — is to reward children and youth for kind, compassionate behavior so they will continue to do it into adulthood.

“Rewarding good behavior can shape a child’s character for life” Blagoev said.

In the The Good Deed Video Contest, she’s encouraging young people to tell a story about a good deed they’ve done and explain what motivated them to do that.

“The deeds can be either small or large, from helping someone crossing the street to feeding the homeless,” Blagoev said in a media statement. “The contestants are encouraged to be creative, not only in their choice of good deed but also in their video essays.”

When pressed about how the videos will be judged, Blagoev added, “I think what we are looking for is the sincerity of the good deed being done, rather than the magnitude. Good deeds are good deeds. They come naturally from the heart of the person performing them. Thus we are not judging by the quality of the video, nor the size of the action. We are looking at simply the youth volunteering to do something out of his or her heart.”

Videos are not being judged by the age of the videographer, either.

“Because each person expresses their action differently, we are not looking at the ‘skills’ of the presentation as the primary criteria,” Blagoev said.

Blagoev hopes the good deeds that are going on in our community will get more attention as a result of the contest, bringing more focus to the positiveness of the youngsters.

“We are awarding prizes. But to me, all of these youths are winners,” she said.

Children are urged to join the Good Deed Video Contest by visiting Blagoev’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/BrightSmilesDentalOffice or website brightsmilesdental.com. The winner will receive a new laptop.

“It’s kind of a cliché, but it’s true. Children are our future,” Blagoev said. “If we can start early in helping these little ones choose between right and wrong, then the possibilities are endless.”

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