Virtual art contest for kids focuses on finding joy

Published 9:59 am Saturday, September 19, 2020

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While many families are balancing virtual learning and adjusting to an unusual school year, the Albemarle Rural Planning Organization (ARPO) and the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) want to help North Carolina kids focus on joy by hosting a virtual art contest.

The theme of the virtual art contest is Finding Joy While Physically Apart.

All elementary and middle school kids who live in the ARPO region – including Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties – are encouraged to participate by submitting their own artwork.

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Prizes for the top two submissions will be awarded to the artist in two age groups: the Safety Seals (K-5th grades) and the Careful Cats (6th-8th grades).

Scans or pictures of submissions must be submitted via email to no later than October 1. The winners will be announced on October 7, Walk in Your Community Day, which is a new program for families who cannot participate in Walk to School Day during the pandemic. For contest rules and submission information, visit

This art contest is a part of a Safe Routes to School partnership project, which launched in the area last year. The goal of the project is to encourage physical activity and improve the safety of kids walking and rolling in Northeastern North Carolina.

art contest

Courtesy NCSU

About Safe Routes to School

The Safe Routes to School partnership project is funded by the NC Department of Transportation’s Non-Infrastructure Transportation Alternatives Program ( The purpose of this program is to:

– Enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school.

– Make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.

– Facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.

About the Albemarle Rural Planning Organization

The Albemarle Rural Planning Organization (ARPO) serves Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans Tyrrell and Washington counties.

About the Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NC State University

The Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) is an institutional center located at NC State University. ITRE conducts surface and air transportation research, training and technical support activities for municipal, state, federal and international clients in order to address critical transportation issues. ITRE’s Traffic Safety Programs and Campaigns group oversees the Safe Routes to School project.



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