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Statewide Poster, Poetry, and Prose Contest

Dear Fifth/Sixth Grade Educators:

We invite your students to participate in the annual Poster, Poetry, and Prose Contest. The theme of the 2024 event is “Where Does Rain Go? How Can We Slow the Flow?” focusing on understanding how rain moves through the landscape, the effects of droughts and floods, and how we can adapt to help protect our water resources.

We believe that the creation of posters and written works gives your students an opportunity to express and share, on a deeper and more personal level, what they have learned. The student exhibit also draws attention to environmental issues.

The top twelve entries will be displayed on the Illinois EPA website providing recognition for the winning entries as well as promoting the program. Each participating student whose work meets the guidelines and requirements will receive a certificate. Finalists will receive a certificate, a ribbon, and an invitation to the awards ceremony in Springfield (subject to change).

To participate in the contest, you will need the participation packet that contains the rules and necessary forms that need to be included with each entry. Please see below for more information.

Contest Materials:

Participation Packet - A signature is required on the release form - please download and ensure all fields are filled out. 

Exhibit timetable is as follows:

January 2024

Educators introduce watersheds and the water cycle, how the amount of rain (frequency and duration) impacts water pollution and the landscape in droughts and floods, and how we can apply conservation practices (slow the flow) to help protect our water resources. Conservation practices can reduce stormwater runoff (nonpoint source pollution) and flooding impacts on our rivers, lakes, and even our city’s sewer systems.

January 8 - 19
Students create posters or written works relating to the theme focus: Where Does Rain Go? How Can We Slow the Flow? 

January 22 - 31
Teachers display posters and poems/prose at their schools. Students and faculty vote to select four posters and four written entries to submit to the Illinois EPA for further judging.

February 1
Teachers submit up to eight entries per school to the Illinois EPA for judging. Entries must be submitted electronically by February 1, 2024.

*Due to inclement weather days, the deadline has been extended to February 5, 2024.

February 2024

April 2024
Awards Ceremony held in Springfield - tentative

Informational resources can be found on the following web sites:

All entries become the property of the Illinois EPA. If you have any questions, please contact Kristi Morris -

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