There’s 25 days left until the February 1st deadline for Virginia students to submit their masterpieces for the “Thank A Teacher Art Contest.” This program is another example of how lotteries celebrate the work of their beneficiaries. A 30-second spot on YouTube shows how students are creating masterpieces every day.

Virginia Lottery works in partnership with Virginia PTA to run this annual program. This is the 4th year for the contest, which launched on December 14.

All K-12 students enrolled in Virginia’s public schools (virtual or face-to face) are encouraged to create artwork and enter it into the contest for the chance to have the artwork appear on thank-you notes that will be distributed to thousands of teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week in May.

Open from December 14, 2020 – February 1, 2021, the art contest will accept submissions online at thankateacherva.com. Winners will be selected at three levels: elementary, middle and high school. The school that each winner attends will receive $1,000 from The Supply Room and $1,000 from the Virginia Lottery. The winning artists will receive a $150 Visa® gift card in addition to having the winning original artwork featured on virtual thank-you notes distributed across Virginia.

“Each year, we are blown away by the talent of Virginia’s youngest artists, and we are excited to launch this program during a school year like no other,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall. “It’s our mission to benefit Virginia’s K-12 public schools, and now more than ever before, this contest provides an excellent opportunity to thank Virginia’s teachers for their remarkable creativity and commitment to their students. These personalized thank-you notes provide a unique way to celebrate student artists and express gratitude to remarkable teachers.”

Last year, the Lottery virtually surprised the three student winners: Sarah Keith, a fourth grader at Potomac Elementary School in King George County; Alaina Carnahan, a sixth grader at Oak Hill Elementary School in Fairfax County; and Tiana Carter, a senior at Chesterfield Career and Technical Center – Courthouse in Chesterfield County. Their artwork was shared on more than 5,000 digital thank-you notes as part of the 2020 Thank a Teacher campaign.

“I am always inspired by Virginia students, and it’s so energizing to see their ideas come through in the art they create, especially as they honor teachers who have made an impact on their lives,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “Educators and students alike are under immense pressure due to changes in teaching and learning during COVID-19, but the arts have continued to be invaluable as students turn to these expressions of creativity to stay connected and inspired. This contest helps celebrate our heroic teachers and shines a light on the artistic abilities of students from every corner of the commonwealth.”

Thank a Teacher is a statewide campaign organized by the Virginia Lottery in partnership with The Supply Room and the Virginia PTA. 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 have sent more than 100,000 thank-you notes. Those notes each include a unique web code that teachers can use to enter for a chance to win a Virginia-themed vacation.

“The Supply Room is thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with the Virginia Lottery in support of Virginia’s K-12 public schools and teachers,” said Lauren Jones, CEO of The Supply Room. “We hope the supplies the schools receive will help these essential workers continue to inspire and educate their students.”

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 thankateacherva.com.

Authorized by Virginia voters in a successful 1987 referendum, the Virginia Lottery generates more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, lottery customers helped generate more than $595 million dollars in funding for public education. For more information, visit the Virginia Lottery’s Giving Back page, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and check us out on YouTube. With all gaming, please remember to play responsibly.