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Calling all public school student artists! Virginia Lottery launches Thank a Teacher Art Contest

From the Virginia Lottery:


Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist.” Building on that sentiment, the Virginia Lottery, in partnership with The Supply Room and Virginia PTA, is excited to launch its fifth annual Thank a Teacher Art Contest. All K-12 students enrolled in Virginia’s public schools 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 through January 31, 2022, the art contest will accept submissions online at 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 thank-you notes distributed across Virginia.

Last year, the Lottery virtually surprised the three student winners: Sarah Saravanan, 1st grader at McNair Lower Elementary School in Fairfax County; Karmare Brownlee, 8th grader at Tabb Middle School in York County; and Andrew Gibson, senior at Gretna High School in Pittsylvania County. Their artwork was shared on more than 30,000 digital and printed thank-you notes as part of the 2021 Thank a Teacher campaign.

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.

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

Authorized by Virginia voters in a successful 1987 referendum, the Virginia Lottery generates more than $2 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, lottery customers helped generate more than $766 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.

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