Take Care of Texas, a statewide campaign by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, is offering kids a fun way to learn about protecting the environment, and a chance to win prizes at the same time.

The Take Care of Texas Kids Art Contest will begin accepting entries on January 3, 2024, but now is not too soon to put on your thinking cap, sharpen those crayons, and begin brainstorming ideas for a prize-winning submission. All entries must be submitted by no later than March 1, and winners will be announced on April 19.

The theme for this year’s contest is recycling. All submitted artwork must depict “positive ways to protect the environment by recycling” and must include the phrase, “Take Care of Texas,” the contest rules state.

The artwork must be two-dimensional, using any of the following mediums: watercolors, acrylic or oil paints, colored pencils, colored markers, charcoal, pastels, or crayons. And, of course, all entries must be original, and not copied from another artist.

Student artwork may be either scanned or photographed and uploaded, or submitted by mail. If mailing, take note that the artwork must not be folded or damaged in any way.

The contest is open to all students residing in Texas in grades K-5, whether they are in public, charter, or private schools, or are homeschooled.

Student submissions will be divided into one of three categories, according to grade level: K-1, 2-3, and 4-5. Commissioners and executive staff from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will select one Grand Prize winner and one Runner Up from each category. Each Grand Prize winner will receive a laptop, and each Runner Up will receive an iPad.

In addition, the teacher who submits the most entries will be awarded an iPad or gift card of equal value.

To learn more about recycling, please visit the Take Care of Texas website. For complete contest rules and helpful submission tips, click here.