Statewide Poster and Poetry/Prose Exhibit


Dear Fifth/Sixth Grade Educators,

We invite your students to participate in the annual Poster, Poetry and Prose Contest. The theme of the 2021 event is Fight Food Waste: Our Environment Can't Be Replaced! focusing on understanding food waste diversion options, how it affects the environment, including climate change, and why it is important to choose environmentally-friendly options.

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.

Please note: Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 contest will be restructured as a virtual, online event with submissions being sent in electronically. There will not be an awards ceremony this year; however, awards will be mailed out to the finalists.

To participate in the poster and poetry/prose contest, you will need the participation packet, which contains the rules and necessary forms. Please read the timetable below and note important dates and deadlines.

Contest Materials:

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

Contest Rubric

Exhibit timetable is as follows:

January 2021
Educators incorporate the Environmental Pathways: Where does my food go? unit into their classroom curricula (available free online at: Students learn about food waste diversion and why it is important.

January 11 - 22
Students create posters or written works relating to the theme focus.

January 25 - 29
If teachers wish, they can display posters and poems/prose virtually within their schools.

February 1
Teachers and/or students submit entries (ID and release form) via email to: Entries must be submitted electronically by February 1, 2021.

February 22-26

April 2021
Educators and students notified via email.

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

Environmental Pathways