Maryland courts ask students to help promote peace


The Maryland Judiciary is inviting young artists to help promote peacemaking in the 11th annual Conflict Resolution Day Student Bookmark Art Contest. The contest for Maryland students in grades K-8 celebrates national Conflict Resolution Day, which is Thursday, October 20, 2016.

“Each year, we engage young students to assist in teaching their peers how to resolve conflicts peacefully,” said Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. “These students bring imaginative suggestions and fresh perspectives to issues that our courts deal with on a daily basis.”

The contest, sponsored by the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO), has become increasingly popular since it began in 2005. Last year, more than 1,900 students from across Maryland participated in the contest, with 15 bookmarks chosen as winners and 61 honorable mentions.

Students are invited to create bookmarks based on the theme of resolving or preventing conflict. Topics can include peer mediation, talking things out, apologizing, respecting differences, solving problems together, 2015 prize-winning bookmark by Sarp Ustundaglistening, tolerance, building peace, or alternatives to violence.

Submissions will be judged on 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. In addition to the prizes, six of the nine winning entries will be printed as bookmarks that will be distributed throughout Maryland to promote conflict resolution.

Students whose entries are awarded prizes will be invited with their families to a ceremony and reception in their honor at the Judiciary Education and Conference Center in Annapolis on Tuesday, December 13. Chief Judge Barbera will meet with the students and families and present the awards. The best 1,000 entries will be displayed in the conference center in December, and some submissions may appear in other Judiciary documents.

Submissions are due by Thursday, October 20, which is Conflict Resolution Day. MACRO’s website includes a template that may be used for original artwork submissions. Any other paper format may also be used. The finished image size must be no larger than 3 inches high by 9 inches wide. Student artwork should be labeled, either on the back of the entry or on the label provided in the template, with the following information:

· Student’s name, age, and grade

· School or program name, if applicable

· Teacher’s or parent’s name and email address

· Address where artwork can be returned after the contest

Participants are asked not to fold entries, and mail or deliver entries no later than October 20, 2016, to Alecia Parker, MACRO, 2001 Commerce Park Drive, Suite C, Annapolis, Maryland. 21401.

For more information about the Conflict Resolution Day Student Bookmark Art Contest, contact Alecia Parker, 410-260-3540, or