HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Lottery is launching its fifth annual “Thank A Teacher” art contest.

All K-12 students enrolled in Virginia’s public schools are encouraged to create artwork and enter it into the contest for the chance to have the artwork appear on thank-you notes that will be distributed to thousands of teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week in May.

The contest is open through January 31. Local students can submit their artwork online at thankateacherva.com.

Entries for the art contest will be judged by a blue-ribbon panel of various members of the arts community in Virginia, and winning designs will be revealed in March.

Winners will be selected at three levels: elementary, middle and high school. The school that each winner attends will receive $1,000 from The Supply Room and $1,000 from the Virginia Lottery. The winning artists will receive a $150 Visa gift card in addition to having the winning original artwork featured on thank-you notes distributed across Virginia. 

Last year, the Lottery virtually surprised the three student winners: Sarah Saravanan, 1st grader at McNair Lower Elementary School in Fairfax County; Karmare Brownlee, 8th grader at Tabb Middle School in York County; and Andrew Gibson, senior at Gretna High School in Pittsylvania County. Their artwork was shared on more than 30,000 digital and printed thank-you notes as part of the 2021 Thank a Teacher campaign.