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Students to share green ideas through statewide art contest

My Green School Art contest entries accepted until April 22

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 11, 2012

 Fourth-grader Ivy Moore took first place in her age category during the My Green Schools Art Contest last year.

Fourth-grader Ivy Moore took first place in her age category during the My Green Schools Art Contest last year.

Photo provided


METRO DETROIT — Last year, more than 450 Michigan students shared what their school was doing to be green as part of the first annual My Green School Art Contest offered by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Detroit Regional Chapter of the Green Schools Committee.

“Last year we had a great response, so we are excited to do it again,” said Connie Lilley, a member of the Green Schools Committee and owner of ecoSTORE USA. “The kids were very enthusiastic about it, and the winners were very excited.”

Peggy Matta, chair of the U. S. Green Building Council’s Detroit Regional Chapter Green Schools Committee, said the statewide art contest was launched in 2011 to promote the nonprofit’s Green School in a Lunchbox program, a Web-based, animated program that introduces concepts of sustainable building to students in kindergarten through fifth-grade through hands-on activities.

Matta said the art contest and Green School in a Lunchbox program are a great opportunity to increase awareness of sustainability in schools in a fun and engaging way.

“We all live on a planet that we need to take care of, and we’d like to encourage students, especially in the K-5, to learn about sustainability,” she said. “Most people think of sustainability as just recycling, but it’s also about energy savings — turning off the lights, turning off things when you’re not using them, turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth — those are the things we’d like to encourage students to learn about.”

This year, organizers hope to get even more entries for the statewide art contest, which asks children in kindergarten through fifth-grade to create a picture — on paper or card stock, up to 12-by-18 inches — that shows what makes their school green, or how it could be green.

Nearly any medium can be used — including paint, crayon, pencil, collage, photos, stencils and more — but children should avoid using glitter, and copyright or trademarked images. For judging purposes, those who enter are also asked not to include the student’s name or use the name of the school in the artwork.

The entries will be judged on whether it communicates the theme or message, originality and effective use of materials.

Online entries — which may be submitted by emailing a photo of the artwork to — are due by 5 p.m. April 22, Earth Day. Mailed entries must be postmarked by April 20 and sent to My Green School Art Contest-USGBC-DRC, 26913 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 200, Southfield, MI 48033.

The top 18 entries — three semifinalists from each grade — will be honored at a luncheon sponsored by ecoSTORE USA in Auburn Hills May 12. First-place winners from each grade will be recognized at the Green Living Festival Charity Preview June 21, and will have their artwork displayed at the Green Living Festival in Rochester June 22-24, as well as in a traveling art show at a variety of local businesses.

For more information on the art contest, contact Connie Lilley at or (248) 830-0476.