Last updated: February 20. 2013 3:18AM - 157 Views

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Pennsylvania American Water announced today that entries are now being accepted for its 11th annual ‚??Protect Our Watersheds‚?Ě Art Contest. All fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students in schools served by Pennsylvania American Water are eligible, as well as individual students who live in the company‚??s service area. The contest encourages students to draw on their artistic talents to convey the importance of protecting Pennsylvania‚??s watersheds and water resources.

All students from Northeast Pennsylvania who participate in the art contest will have their artwork displayed during RiverFest at Nesbitt Park and the River Common along the Susquehanna River. The event, which runs June 21 to 23, will feature environmental exhibits, three river sojourns, children‚??s activities, nature walks and entertainment on both banks of the river. The event will culminate with the annual Dragon Boat Races on Sunday, June 23. Pennsylvania American Water is sponsor of the annual RiverFest celebration.

‚??Students in the Wyoming Valley have such a great opportunity to learn about the river through this project,‚?Ě said John Maday, RiverFest committee member. ‚??RiverFest and the River Common enable everyone to come back to the river, and we want to showcase the children‚??s artwork as part of our celebration.‚?Ě

This month, Pennsylvania American Water is mailing contest applications to teachers in nearly 500 schools in its service territory. Winners will be selected based on creative vision, artistic talent, understanding of watershed protection and the ability to communicate that understanding. As part of their entry, students must write a brief narrative on the personal impact of watershed protection.

‚??In celebrating the art contest‚??s 11th year, we are proud of how it taps into children‚??s imagination and creativity to instill the importance of environmental stewardship,‚?Ě said Pennsylvania American Water President Kathy L. Pape. ‚??We‚??ve seen participation grow year after year as more teachers, parents and students use the contest as a learning opportunity to understand how humans can positively and negatively impact our watershed and drinking water sources.‚?Ě

The deadline for artwork submissions is March 29. Contest guidelines and entry forms are available on the company‚??s Web site at www.pennsylvaniaamwater.com.

In 2012, the company received more than 800 entries from students across the state. The grand prize winner was Samuel Kagle of Chartiers Valley Intermediate School in Bridgeville, Allegheny County.

In total, six students will be recognized, with a first-, second- and third-place winner selected from eastern and western Pennsylvania. First-place winners will be rewarded with a $100 gift card to Barnes & Noble. Two second- and third-place winners will be awarded a $50 and $25 gift card, respectively.

In addition, the overall grand prize winner will have her or his artwork featured on ‚??Bloomer‚?Ě cards distributed by Pennsylvania American Water. Bloomer cards are seed-filled packets that, when planted and tended, produce a variety of wildflowers. All entrants will receive a Watershed Champion certificate. Awards will be presented in May as part of National Drinking Water Week activities.
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