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Virginia Lottery Thank a Teacher Art Contest launches for second year

Virginia LotteryPablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist.” Building on that sentiment, the Virginia Lottery launched its second annual Thank a Teacher Art Contest.

K-12 students attending Virginia’s public schools are encouraged to create the artwork that could appear on thank-you notes that will be distributed to thousands of teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10.

Open through Feb. 1, the Virginia Lottery will accept submissions online. Winners will be selected from three levels: elementary school, middle school and high school. The winners will each receive $1,000 for their school’s art department and a $150 gift card, in addition to having their original artwork featured on thousands of 2019 thank-you notes distributed across the Commonwealth.

“Last year we were blown away by the talent of some of Virginia’s youngest artists, and we can’t wait to bring the program back for a second year,” said Virginia LotteryExecutive Director Kevin Hall. “It’s our mission to benefit Virginia’s K-12 public schools, and these special, personalized thank-you notes are another way to celebrate our remarkable state educators.”

Thank a Teacher is a statewide campaign organized by the Virginia Lottery in partnership with the Virginia PTA and Virginia Tourism Corporation. Each year, these partners encourage students, parents and the general public to send thank-you notes to Virginia’s public school teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week. To date, Virginians distributed more than 100,000 thank-you notes, with some teachers also winning prizes like Virginia-themed vacations.

“I am continually inspired by Virginia’s students, and it’s energizing to see their ideas come to life through art,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “Arts programs are an invaluable part of our education system and this contest helps celebrate the artistic abilities of students from every corner of the Commonwealth.”

In its first year, three student artists were selected as winners: Sahasra Vishwanathan, a second-grade student at Kiln Creek Elementary School in Newport News, Cleo Scott, a seventh-grade student at Albert H. Hill Middle School in Richmond, and Isabel Lee, a ninth-grade student at Battlefield High School in Prince William County. Their artwork was shared on more than 35,000 thank-you notes as part of the 2018 Thank a Teacher campaign.

Entries for the art contest will be judged by a blue-ribbon panel of various members of the arts community in Virginia, and winning designs will be revealed in March. For more information about the Thank a Teacher Art Contest eligibility requirements, design criteria, prize structure and submission guidelines, visit

Now in its 30th year, the Virginia Lottery generates more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Lottery generated more than $600 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2018. In addition, $14 million in unclaimed prizes was deposited in the Literary Fund, which provides low-interest loans to help localities upgrade their school facilities and technology. In the coming months, look for us to deliver new games in new ways and in new places. For more info, visit our website, download our app, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

augusta free press
augusta free press