Calling all young artists

Crafty kids, gather your pencils, paintbrushes, and paper. Young ones can participate in the annual Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest, an integral part of the eighth annual national Endangered Species Day, May 17.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and numerous conservation organizations will observe Endangered Species Day to recognize conservation efforts underway across the nation aimed at helping America’s imperiled species. This year also commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.

Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of the nation’s rarest plant and animal species. The Youth Art Contest provides students from kindergarten to high school with an opportunity to learn about threatened and endangered species and express their knowledge and support through artwork. Entries must be postmarked by March 15.

The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) will select 40 semifinalists from thousands of entries.

Winners will be chosen in four categories: K-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12 and will receive plaques and art supply gift packs. In addition, one grand prize winner will be honored with their name engraved on a special trophy and receive a round-trip flight to Washington, D.C. with one guardian to attend a reception in May. The grand prize winner will also receive art supplies and a special art lesson – via Skype – from renowned marine life artist, Wyland.

For more information, including judging criteria and an entry form, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org.

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