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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 2023 event is Environmental Justice: A Healthy Community for All! focusing on understanding environmental justice and how it relates to healthy communities.

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 filled out. Please read the timetable below and note important dates and deadlines.

Credit: Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus Maguire: and

Contest Materials:

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

Paquete para la Participación - Se requiere una firma en el formulario de publicación. Por favor descárguelo y asegúrese de completar todos los campos. 

Exhibit timetable is as follows:

January 2023
Educators introduce Environmental Justice, what it is, how some communities are disproportionately impacted by pollution, and why it is important that their voices are heard.

January 17 - 20
Students create posters or written works relating to the theme focus: Environmental Justice: A Healthy Community for All! 

January 23 - 27
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, 2023.

February 2023

April 2023
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.

Other Environmental Education Resources