The Washington Post

Contests to make kids winners

Caroline Dupree was the grand-prize winner of last year’s Olive Garden essay contest, getting $5,000 to help start a recycling program at her Louisiana school. (From Olive Garden)

If you love drawing, writing or roller coasters, have we got some fun contests for you to enter. In most cases, you’ll have to go online to find out more about the contest. Always ask an adult (teacher or parent) before going on the Internet.


Contest: Olive Garden Pasta Tales Essay Contest.

What you need to do: Write an essay of between 50 and 250 words on the subject of how to end hunger in your community.

Who can enter: Students in first through 12th grade.

What can you win: Grand-prize winner gets a family trip to New York City and a $2,500 savings bond. Olive Garden will also donate $5,000 to help make the grand-prize winner’s goal a reality. Winners at each grade level get dinner at Olive Garden and a $500 savings bond.

How to enter: Send entries to Pasta Tales, PMB 2000, 6278 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308.

Deadline: Must be postmarked by March 22.

For more information, including complete rules: Go to www. and click “About Us.”


Contest: Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest.

What you need to do: Create artwork highlighting one or more endangered species found in the United States.

Who can enter: Kids from kindergarten through 12th grade. Prizes will be awarded in four grade categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

What you can win: One grand-prize winner will be honored at a reception in May at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will win art supplies and will get a drawing lesson from a famous nature artist. Winners in each category will receive plaques and art supplies.

How to enter: Send your original artwork on an 8 1 / 2-by-11-inch sheet of paper to: Endangered Species Day Art Contest, c/o Endangered Species Coalition, P.O. Box 5775, Takoma Park, Maryland 20913.

Deadline: Must be postmarked by March 15.

For more information, including complete rules: Go to and type “2013 Art Contest” in the search box.


Contest: K’Nex Great Thrill Ride Build-Off.

What you need to do: Build an original, working amusement park ride using K’Nex parts.

Who can enter: Student groups in grades 6-12.

What you can win: Have your coaster displayed at an amusement parks.

How to enter: Get a group together to build a model ride, write an essay about it and make a video of how it works. Students groups can register at

Deadline: April 8.

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