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Virginia Lottery’s Thank a Teacher Art Contest back for third year

Virginia LotteryThe Virginia Lottery’s Thank a Teacher Art Contest returns for the third year on Jan. 2.

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 4 – 8.

Open through Jan. 31, 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 $2,000 for their school’s art department and a $150 gift card, in addition to having their original artwork featured on thousands of 2020 thank-you notes distributed across the Commonwealth.

“We have been blown away by the talent of some of Virginia’s youngest artists over the last two years, and we can’t wait to bring the program back for another year,” Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall said. “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 The Supply Room. 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.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students from all over Virginia to demonstrate their artistic abilities and share their appreciation for the impact teachers have had on their lives” said Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “I can’t wait to see what students come up with this year!”

In its second year, three student artists were selected as winners: Elizaveta Godlevskaia, a fifth-grade student at Aldrin Elementary School in Reston, Kaycie Colton, a seventh-grade student at Princess Anne Middle School in Virginia Beach, Alyssa Heath, a 12th-grade student at Virginia High School in Bristol. Their artwork was shared on more than 50,000 thank-you notes as part of the 2019 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

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