McALLEN - In an effort to promote participation in the U.S. 2020 Census, the City of McAllen and McAllen ISD are presenting a district-wide art contest for McAllen ISD students.

The art contest theme is ‘Everyone Counts!’ and should represent the student’s neighborhood and surrounding community.

McAllen ISD Superintendent, Dr. J.A. Gonzalez explained at Friday press conference why McAllen residents should participate in the Census.

“From a school standpoint, we’re looking at breakfast and lunch - the dollars that are gonna feed our children,” he said. “Pell grants too, those are the dollars that are going to service our children. Overall, it’s about providing a world-class service for our students and we need the funding for our students and the Census is a big part of that.”

Gonzalez added while students are exploring the concepts of what the U.S. Census means, they are simultaneously having fun while doing so.

“It’s going to bring to life the importance of the Census as they work on that art and how their families are involved in the process as well as bring awareness.”

McAllen ISD students grades K-12th can participate by submitting an 8.5” X 11” two-dimensional piece and must be original. If the creator’s work is copyrighted it will be disqualified.

Deadline to submit the artwork is Monday, March 9, 2020, to or to McAllen ISD Fine Arts Dept. at 2112 N Main St. Rm G20, McAllen, TX 78501 Attn. Lisa Saenz-Saldivar.

Email submissions are not to exceed 5MB.

All submissions must include the student’s name, age, school of attendance, grade, address, email and phone number.

Winners will be divided into three categories: (K-5th) (6th-8th) and (9th-12th) and will publicly be announced at the McAllen Public Library for a community event taking place on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

The event is free and the participant’s families are invited to join the City of McAllen and McAllen ISD that will exhibit the top 10 submissions from each division and present the winners’ awards.

The awards include an Amazon Kindle and a class pizza party.

“If we can get our children involved, educated and aware of how important the Census is and how it will impact their lives in the next 10 years, then we all benefit,” said Victor “Seby” Haddad, City of McAllen commissioner for District 5.