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RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam designated May 7–11, 2018 as Teacher Appreciation Week in the Commonwealth and encouraged all Virginians to participate by sending thank-you notes, recognizing teachers for their hard work and dedication. This year’s third annual “Thank a Teacher” campaign, sponsored by the Virginia Lottery in partnership with Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Parent Teacher Association (PTA), has a new and artistic twist—the thank-you notes will feature artwork by three Virginia public school students.
In a statewide call for submissions, the Virginia Lottery received artwork from nearly 1,000 students in every corner of the Commonwealth. A distinguished group of art educators and community members selected the three winning designs, one each from an elementary, middle and high school student.
“Teachers are the backbone of our Commonwealth’s economy and we should recognize them every day,” Governor Northam said. “During Teacher Appreciation Week, I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to thank the people who help shape young individuals into educated adults, ready to work the jobs of today and create the jobs of tomorrow. These notecards are the perfect way to say ‘thanks,’ while highlighting the work of some of Virginia’s most talented young artists.”
The winning images were submitted by Sahasra Vishwanathan (2nd grade, Kiln Creek Elementary School, Newport News), Cleo Scott (7th grade, Albert Hill Middle School, Richmond) and Isabel Lee (9th grade, Battlefield High School, Prince William County). Each student won $150 for creating their winning entry, and $1,000 for their school’s art department.
“As a teacher, I can tell you that there is no greater joy than hearing ‘thank you’ from a student or a parent,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “We do what we do because we take great pride in educating the Commonwealth’s future leaders. To receive a personal note telling us that we are appreciated, certainly makes it all worth it.”
The art contest enhances the third year of the “Thank a Teacher” campaign, in which all Virginia citizens are encouraged to send print or digital thank-you notes provided by the Virginia Lottery to their favorite teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Qualifying teachers who receive a thank-you note can enter a drawing for a chance to win one of two Virginia vacations from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, four round-trip train tickets from Amtrak and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, or a $500 VISA gift card.
“All of us at the Lottery are proud of our key role in supporting Virginia’s K-12 public schools, so it’s really meaningful when we have the chance to celebrate our great teachers and their most creative students,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall. “We’ve added a really interesting new component to the Thank a Teacher campaign, and it’s great to be able to incorporate the artistic talents of this remarkable group of students.”
In the first two years of the campaign, Virginia’s teachers received more than 70,000 thank-you notes, because of the overwhelming support and participation from parents, students and community members.
Thank-you notes are available through participating PTA chapters and all Virginia Lottery Customer Service Centers. Digital thank-you notes and more information about the campaign are available at www.thankateacherva.com.
The Lottery generates more than $1.5 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Lottery generated more than a half-billion dollars for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2017.
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