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Gallaudet National Essay, Art and ASL Contest

This year, students from around the country submitted a record-breaking 645 entries to the 2009 Gallaudet National Essay, Art, and ASL Contest for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students. Students addressed the theme, "Going Green: What I'm Doing to Help Save the Environment." Their essays, artwork, and videotaped entries showed their intense interest and participation in being active stewards of our planet's resources.

Participants took a variety of approaches to the topic. Some essay entries included ideas related to school, such as setting up homework assignments online instead of using paper and using password-protected accounts to submit them. One student researched on energy tips online and found Blackle.com, a search engine powered by Google Custom Search that saves energy by displaying a black background for search result pages. Other entries focused on practical ideas for the home, encouraging families to buy green-friendly products, grow organic vegetables, and recycle cooking oil. The art entries illustrated a wide range of environmental views, from collages and cartoons of recycling projects to haunting and surreal depictions of landscapes devoid of life. Many of the artists incorporated the recycle logo as an element in their artwork in novel ways. One student included in her artwork the phrase, "Green is the new black." Several ASL entries suggested conservation tips such as using recyclable/refillable cups and water bottles, taking fewer and shorter showers, and biking to school or work. In one ASL entry, a student gave an A-to-Z list of environmental tips of things people can do to "go green"; for instance, "Q" was for "Quit smoking." Go to the contest website to see all the winners and their entries.

The Gallaudet National Essay, Art, and ASL Contest for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students is co-sponsored annually by Gallaudet University and the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center located in Washington, D.C. Students from schools for the deaf and public schools submit their entries in one of two age groups, 9-14 or 15-19. Winners in the 9-14 age category receive cash prizes. Winners in the 15-19 age category receive scholarship money for the college of their choice (which is doubled if a student applies to and attends Gallaudet). All winning entries, and a full list of all participants, is published in the Clerc Center's contest publication, Celebrate!, which is made available in print and online.

Download a full press release here.