Feb 14, 2019

Center for Environmental Literacy - River of Words

  • Crimson Education
  • Worldwide, China
Multiple Skill Building


Our free, annual, international youth poetry and art contest — the largest in the world — inspires children ages 5 to 19 to translate their observations into creative expression. Promoting Environmental Literacy through the Arts and Cultural Exchange, River of Words® (ROW) is a program of The Center for Environmental Literacy and a part of the Kalmanovitz School of Education. 

Polar bear in Arctic sea surrounded by ice floats. Glaciers can be seen in the background. River of Words is its own watershed: a linked network of people throughout the United States and the world who are committed to teaching the art and poetry of place to young people. Since 1995, River of Words has encouraged young people to explore and savour the watersheds where they live and trained educators to guide them with inspiration and passion. Through professional development and other educational services, travelling exhibits, publications and community programs, ROW reaches thousands of educators and young people around the world.

For more information visit the official website here or contact Maureen Esty, River of Words Coordinator of Saint Mary's Center for Environmental Literacy, at rowinfo@stmarys-ca.edu or 925-631-4289.

Type of Opportunity

Extracurricular Activity

Age Range





Participation Cost


Minimum Technical Skill Needed

Be creative to write the poems or paint

Time Commitment


Application Process Includes

Mail art and physical submissions to:

River of Words
1928 Saint Mary's Road PMB 5060
Moraga, CA 94575

1.All poems must be original work. Physical poetry submissions must be either typed or legibly written in ink (not pencil) and mailed with a completed Paper Entry Form. One Paper Entry Form per poem. When mailed, poems and their Paper Entry Forms should be attached back-to-back, glued, taped or printed double sided. No staples or paperclips. ASL poetry must be submitted on DVD and mailed. Poems should not exceed 32 lines in length (written) or 3 minutes (signed).

For ASL poetry, please include a brief written summary of the poem’s content, and glue or staple this summary to your entry form. We understand the difficulty of explaining signed language in written English, but this serves as an entry point for those who do not sign into understanding and appreciating signed poetry. Collaborative poems are accepted, but only one child (chosen as the group representative) will be eligible for any prizes awarded. We are able to accept poems only in English, Spanish and American Sign Language.


2.All artwork must be original work. Artwork should not exceed 11” by 17” in size-no exceptions. Acceptable media are paint, pencil, markers, ink, crayon, chalk or pastel (fixed), photography, cloth, collage and computer art. (Photo entries must be at least 8x10 inches.)

All art entries must be mailed. All entries must have the student’s name, school, city and state on the back — do not use a marker or anything that will show through! A completed Paper Entry Form or Email Confirmation of a Online Entry Form must also be affixed to the back of each piece of artwork with glue or tape (be careful not to damage the artwork) — do not use paperclips or staples! We do not accept color copies—all entries must be original work.

Art entries must be done on paper that will allow for duplication, display or framing. Please, no notebook or typing paper, and do not mat, mount, laminate, frame or fold artwork. Entries must be mailed flat or rolled in a tube — no folding, please!



Youtube Video