CHICAGO – The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to school closures in Illinois, potentially leaving parents responsible for home-schooling their children through April. While families are making arrangements, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt is launching a career-focused art contest for students.

Earlier this month, Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered all K-12 schools — both public and private — be closed from March 17 to April 7 (April 21 for Chicago Public Schools) to further safeguard communities from the spread of the virus.

“The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted all of our lives,” Van Pelt said. “But I don’t want school closures to be a hindrance for the creativity and productivity I know young people possess. Hopefully this gives them something to be excited about and keep their minds engaged during this difficult time.”

Van Pelt’s art competition is open to all students in the Chicagoland area, with separate categories for elementary school, middle school and high school students. Similar to the goal-setting tour she did a few months prior, the contest is centered on career planning and life goals. Students are asked to draw a vision of their future selves living out their dream job. High school students are also asked to include a layout of their five-year plan to explain how they will reach their career goals.

All entries must include the student's name, grade and school. Students can mail their artwork (letter or legal) to 1016 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60607. The deadline to submit an entry is April 10.

After entries have been received, they will be narrowed down to the top three pieces in each category. Van Pelt will then host a poll on her official Facebook account, where students and residents will be able to choose the winners. The poll will close April 17 at 5 p.m. and the winners will be announced afterward.

Winners will receive a custom designed T-shirt, a chance to shadow Senator Van Pelt in Springfield, and a $100 gift certificate to be used for school supplies.

For questions related to the art contest or for information on learning resources during school closures, Van Pelt encourages residents to call her office at 312-888-9191. Click here to see examples of what she's looking for.


Category: News

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Office Info

District Office
1016 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607 
(312) 888-9191
(312) 277-3716 FAX

Springfield Office
129 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706