Illinois EPA sponsors annual contest for 5th-6th-grade students

Agency encourages youth to be creative on how they can help to protect land resources

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[January 19, 2013]  SPRINGFIELD -- Director John Kim invites fifth- and sixth-grade writers and artists from around Illinois to compete in this year's "Poster, Poetry and Prose" contest, sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. "Through programs such as this, students will learn how to be good environmental stewards, and they, in turn, can educate and influence the actions of others," said Kim.

This year's study focuses on the importance of preventing land pollution and preserving land resources, with "Lending a Hand to Protect Our Precious Land!" as the event's theme.

The contest, which correlates with the environmental education packet "Environmental Pathways -- Youth Investigating Pollution Issues in Illinois," gives students an opportunity to express and share, on a deeper and more personal level, what they have learned about the importance of protecting our air, land and water. The student exhibit also draws attention to environmental issues. This free teacher's guide meets the criteria of the North American Association for Environmental Education's "Environmental Education Materials: Guidelines for Excellence" and is correlated with the Illinois Learning Standards.

Each school can enter up to eight works: four posters and four written. Entries must be postmarked and sent in to the Illinois EPA by Feb. 1. An in-house panel from the Illinois EPA judges all entries to select the finalists, whose entries are then judged by an outside panel of authorities to determine the top 12 winners.

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All finalists, together with their families and teachers, are invited to an awards ceremony and reception on March 23 at the Old State Capitol Historic Site in Springfield.

Following the awards ceremony and reception, entries will be on exhibit in the atrium of the Illinois EPA's headquarters building in Springfield from March 25 through April 26, and the top winners will be featured on the Illinois EPA's home page at

Information about the annual event can be obtained by contacting Kristi Morris, environmental education coordinator for the Illinois EPA, at 217-558-7198, or by mail at 1021 North Grand Ave. East, P.O. Box 19276, Springfield, IL 62794-9276.

[Text from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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