Together We’re Better Elementary and Middle School Artwork Contest

Artwork Themes

The Arc Maryland, with its statewide partners, provides a school inclusion program called “Together We’re Better” (TWB).  The objective of the program is to raise awareness of the value and importance of inclusion of students with disabilities. One component of the program is an Art Contest for elementary and middle school students.

Following the theme from National Inclusive Schools Week, “Draw Me In,” students are invited to create and submit a personal work of art that explores one or more of the following concepts:

  • Why is it important to have friends of all abilities?
  • What have you learned about yourself and others through this campaign on how we are better together?
  • Do we see the faces of all children and youth drawn into the canvas of our schools and society today?

2023-24 Submission Highlights

Highlights include elementary and middle school artwork contests and high school drawing contest winners.

Who May Enter

Elementary School: 

Students in grades K – 5 in a public, parochial, or private elementary school in Maryland may submit a piece of artwork.  Home-schooled children who reside in Maryland, grades K- 5 are also eligible. This includes students with and without disabilities.

Middle School:

Students in grades 6-8 in a public, parochial, or private middle school in Maryland may submit a piece of artwork.  Home-schooled children who reside in Maryland, grades 6- 8 are also eligible. This includes students with and without disabilities.

Timeline for the Art Contest

  • All submissions of Art are due by Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Any entries received after the stated deadline shall not be considered for an award. Submissions can be submitted digitally via email(photo of the artwork or file) or physically mailed.
  • The Art will be judged in late January 2024.
  • The judges include members and staff from The Maryland State Department of Education, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, the Maryland Department of Disabilities, and The Arc Maryland.
  • An awards celebration for honorees will take place on Wednesday, February 21, 2023, during DD Day at the Legislature. DD Day is a gathering of advocates with and without disabilities, Maryland Elected Officials, and the Governor’s Office

Additional Information

The Arc Maryland has compiled links and information to our “Diversity Celebration Toolkit,” which you can access here, to help teachers and/or parents in preparing lesson plans and activities for students to celebrate the diverse capacities and abilities of all students. For questions or additional information, contact Sharon Dols at sdols@thearcmd.org.

A group of girls on a raft all agreeing that they can do this better together!

This project is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1,201,464 with 100% funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.