The Maryland Judiciary is asking students to use their artistic talents to help promote peacemaking during the 14th annual Conflict Resolution Day Bookmark Art Contest. The contest is open to Maryland students in kindergarten through eighth grade to help celebrate national Conflict Resolution Day on Thursday, Oct. 17.
Students can create bookmarks with the theme of resolving or preventing conflict. Topics include peer mediation, talking things out, apologizing, respecting differences, solving problems together, listening, tolerance, building peace, inclusion, and alternatives to violence.
“We want to encourage students to resolve conflicts peacefully,” said Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. “Creating art provides an opportunity to think imaginatively about peacemaking and offers an exciting way to share ideas. We hope that, by participating in this contest, students will engage in meaningful peer-to-peer discussions and will learn more about settling disputes without violence.”
The contest has gained in popularity since it began in 2005. Last year, more than 1,200 students from across Maryland participated, with 13 bookmarks chosen as winners and 14 as honorable mentions.
Submissions will be judged on artistry, creativity, and message. Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place in three age groups: grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. For each age group, the prize awards will be $75 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. A selection of winning bookmark entries will be printed as bookmarks and distributed throughout Maryland to promote conflict resolution.
Winners and their families will be invited to a ceremony and reception in Annapolis on Thursday, Dec. 5. Chief Judge Barbera will meet the winners and present the awards.
The contest is sponsored by the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO). Entries are due by Thursday, Oct. 17, which is Conflict Resolution Day. Visit MACRO’s website, mdcourts.gov/bookmarkcontest, for more information, including a template, instructions, and information about how and where to submit entries.