Entries sought for ‘Just for Kids’ Christmas essay, art challenge

By Patricia Kasten | The Compass | October 31, 2018

ALLOUEZ — The Compass is seeking entries from students for its 31st annual “Just for Kids” Christmas challenge. This year, as it has since 2014, The Compass is partnering with World Mission Services of the Diocese of Green Bay to include “Just for Kids art entries in the Missionary Childhood Association’s (MCA) National Christmas Card contest. 

For the second year in a row, a previous year’s Just for Kids winners has been chosen by MCA as one of 24 national winners. Emily Peters from St. Thomas Aquinas Academy of Marinette was a seventh grade student at Holy Family School in Brillion when she submitted art depicting Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem. Her entry was one of a total of 241 entries to Just for Kids last year: 96 essays and 145 works of art.

Bishop David Ricken has also chosen to use Emily’s art for his personal Christmas card this year, just as he used the artwork of Teresa Fischer, of Brillion, who was chosen as a national winner last year.

Emily and her family will attend a Dec. 7 luncheon and awards ceremony at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. All 24 national winners will receive a plaque and have their art displayed at the basilica throughout the Advent/Christmas season. Their art will also be available as downloadable Christmas cards from the MCA website, www.missio.org/resources. Winners from this year’s Just for Kids art entries will be submitted to the 2019 MCA contest. In addition to national winners, two grand prize winners will have their art reproduced as the official Christmas cards for the national director of the Pontifical Mission Society in the United States.

The Compass “Just for Kids” Christmas challenge also includes the paper’s traditional essay contest.

Three winners (each in art and essay) will be chosen in each age group/category: grades pre-K to 2; grades 3-4; grades 5-6; grades 7-8. Winners’ art and essays will be featured in The Compass’ Christmas issue on Dec. 21, as well as on The Compass website during the Christmas season.

  • Artwork: Entries may be black and white, or color, with images of the newborn Baby Jesus in the manger.

Artwork must be original freehand — no copying or tracing — not larger than 8.5 by 11 inches and done on white paper (no lined paper). Acceptable media includes crayons, pastels, colored pencils, markers, tempera or watercolor paints. (No lead pencils may be used for any part of the art.)

  • Essay: (Not to exceed 60 words.) Entries should answer the following question: “Why did Jesus come to earth as a baby and not as a full-grown adult?”

For group entries that are part of a classroom project, The Compass asks teachers/principals to narrow down large groups of entries from each class grouping before submitting.

Winners for both The Compass and MCA will be chosen with the assistance of a panel of diocesan staff. They will receive award certificates in January.

All entries must include the child’s name, address (this can be the school’s address for classes and will not be included in the paper), school or student’s parish and grade in school. Class submissions must also include the teacher’s name and class.

Send entries to “Just for Kids,” attn. Patricia Kasten, c/o The Compass, P.O. Box 23825, Green Bay, WI, 54305-3825, or send digitally to [email protected] and titled “Just for Kids artwork” or “Just for Kids essay.”

Entries must be received by Dec. 3 to be considered for publication. Full rules for the MCA art contest can also be downloaded at http://bit.ly/Just_For_Kids.

Include self-addressed, stamped envelope to have entries returned. However, winning entries forwarded to MCA cannot be returned.

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