The Rocky View Schools (RVS) Christmas card contest is back for its 10th year, and students in elementary and middle schools throughout the division are invited to submit their original creations. “Rather than just buying cards off the shelf, we take this as an opportunity to celebrate the work of some of our students,” said RVS Superintendent of Schools Greg Luterbach. “I guess it fits well with our philosophy of making learning visible and making learning real.” The division sends out a number of cards from the office of the superintendent each year, Luterbach said, as do board trustees. “Annually, we run a Christmas card contest. We look for kindergarten to Grade 9 students to submit some artwork that can then be showcased on these cards,” he said. “We pick two winners – one from elementary and one from middle school.” Each year, the contest encourages entries highlighting a specific theme – this year’s is “making a difference.” “When they’re doing their artwork, we’re asking them to reflect back about something that they believe is important to make a difference – in either their life, or the life of the school or the life of the community,” Luterbach said. An internal committee of staff selects the winners, he said, adding winning the contest is a “big deal” for the students. “They see their work being used by the jurisdiction,” he said. “I think it’s really positive that they see something that they did with their own hands and based on their own interest being important enough that the school division is using it.” Although only two winners are chosen each year, Luterbach said he tries to ensure all entries are showcased in some way. “I have a set of windows in my office, and [last year], we covered them with all the submissions that kids made,” he said. “Whether they made it onto the selected card or not, we try to celebrate and share their artwork around the building.” Submitted artwork should be 8.5 by 11 inches but can be in any medium – pencil, pen, crayon, pastel, paint or digital. Digital submissions must be 100 per cent to size and 200 dots per inch in resolution. Hard copy submissions should be dropped off in person, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to Erlene Gococo in the RVS Communications department at the Education Centre located at 2651 Chinook Winds Drive S.W. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 10.