MSC-IRA Reading Poster Contest

Every year, the Missouri State Council of the IRA honors creative students from all over the state by sponsoring a reading poster contest, which starts at the local school district level, moves to the local council level, and finally onto the state level where members of the state council vote on the best entries submitted.  Prizes are awarded in each of four categories:  K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th.  In order for students to be recognized in their own school districts during the school year, we have decided to move the contest deadline up, so this means the creativity will need to begin early in the school year.  See specific deadlines below.

Please help the MSC-IRA revive this poster contest by encouraging all teachers to promote creativity and reading through submitting posters!  We are all looking forward to seeing your students’ work!  

Guidelines for Posters

  • – Posters should be unfolded on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper.
  • – The longer side must be VERTICAL.
  • – Magic markers, crayons, pen and ink, pencils, tempera paint, acrylics, watercolors, or a combination of mediums may be used. NO CHALK. Bold colors are preferred. Avoid pale colors. Must be printable (e.g., dark backgrounds do not print well). Lettering must be easily read.
  • – All artwork must be ORIGINAL. DO NOT — USE TRADEMARKS, such as Disney characters, Batman, SpongeBob, etc. NO REAL BOOK TITLES ALLOWED.
  • Must mirror the theme of the international association conference.
  • – Only one entry per student is allowed. The OFFICIAL ENTRY BLANK linked here must be completed FULLY and ATTACHED to the BACK of the poster. NO POSTER WILL BE JUDGED WITHOUT ALL OF THIS INFORMATION.  To be eligible, all entries must have a parent or guardian’s signature on this official form.

Poster Judging

Posters will be judged on:

  • – Freshness of theme and treatment of subject;
  • – Original, eye-catching, appealing artwork;
  • – Inventive and bold design
  • – Ability to encourage students of varying ages to read.


Procedures and Timeline for Submitting Posters


  • Early in the fall – Local school districts promote and encourage creativity by holding a local reading poster contest to determine which 3 posters in each GRADE category will be forwarded to their local council poster chairperson.  
  • November 1 – Deadline for local school district winners to be forwarded to the local council poster chairperson.  Judging will occur at the local council level at this time, and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each grade category are forwarded to the state poster chairperson.  
  • January 16 – Deadline for local council winners to be received by the state poster chairperson.  A total of only 12 posters (three in each of four categories) may be submitted by each local council.  

Entries will be judged and displayed at the Write to Learn Conference in the spring, which is Feb. 26-28, 2015.  Contact your local council or state chairperson for more information.  

State Poster Contest Chairperson:

Dr. Julie Bryant, Southwest Baptist University, 1600 University Ave., 111 Gott Educational Center, Bolivar, MO 65613


Winning Posters


Once the posters have been judged, the teachers of the winning artists will be contacted.  

Overall winner will receive:

  • – Award certificate
  • – Spotlight in the next issue of The Missouri Reader (TMR); and 
  • – First place prizes outlined below.

First-place winners in each grade-level category will receive:

  • – $25.00 Barnes & Noble gift certificate
  • – Recognition by MSC-IRA in TMR and on the website
  • – Recognition in the winners’ local newspapers.

 Additionally, teacher of the winners in each category in the contest will receive:  *****NOTE:  In order for the teacher to win the prize, s/he must be a member of MSC-IRA.

  • $25.00 Barnes & Noble gift certificate.  
  • – 25 FREE books for your classroom.

Images of all winning posters become the property of the MSC-IRA and may be used to promote literacy throughout the state.  However, teachers who mail entries with a self-addressed, stamped envelope will have entries returned, so they can be given back to local schools to celebrate the winners before the end of the school year. Alternately, those attending the Write to Learn Conference in the spring may pick up the entries at that time as well.