Story provided by Payne County Youth Services
Payne County Youth Services is excited to announce the 13th Annual Voices of Today Art, Poetry, and Photography Contest. This event kicks off every year in September and entries are due in December. All 6th through 12th graders in Payne County are eligible to enter, regardless of public school enrollment status.
This year, the theme for the contest is “I am the Future.” Kim Shenold, Intervention Specialist at PCYS and lead contact for the art contest, said: “We hope this theme will allow participants to think through the difficult times we are currently experiencing and envision how they will shape the future.”
New to the Voices of Today Art Contest is the contest logo. The logo features letters that were decorated by youth in Payne County who have received services from PCYS. “When a kiddo sees their letter on a flier or sign in the community, they will know they have a voice here,” Shenold said.
Youth in Payne County are encouraged to enter up to nine works of art (a maximum of three entries per category) to be judged by community members who generously donate their time and expertise to this program each year. In each category, a first, second, and third place winner is chosen from each school and grade level and there is also a contest-wide “Best in Show” awarded per category. With this system, participants compete against other artists in their same grade level and school and PCYS is able to congratulate more of these talented young people.
For the 2020-2021 school year, entries are due no later than December 11, 2020, and can be turned in to schools or at the PCYS office. In consideration of possible school closures, the Perkins, Stillwater, and Yale public libraries have graciously agreed to accept submissions as well. Entries should measure no more than 18”X24”, on a paper product or canvas, and be mounted on cardstock or matboard and ready for display at the time of submission. Each entry should be accompanied by a submission form (opposite page). More information can be requested by emailing email@example.com or by calling the office at 405-377-3380.
PYCS is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of free services to youth and families in Payne County including counseling, life skills training, a Transitional Living Program to help homeless youth get into an apartment and learn important skills, a First Time Offenders program that helps kids who are in trouble with the law for the first time, Building a Competent Community for Suicide Prevention training, and their newest program, Safe Sitter babysitting classes. PCYS also maintains an emergency youth shelter to house youth temporarily during times of crisis. More information can be found on all these programs at PCYS.org.