Bookmark contest

Bookmarks created by area prekindergarteners through sixth-graders will be displayed during the annual Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown on April 6 and 7, 2019, at Bottle Works. The student creations are made from crayons, markers and paint. Last year, 596 entries were received.

These bookmarks are a great way to tell a story.

As part of the 11th annual Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown, The Learning Lamp is holding its bookmark contest that allows children to create bookmarks showing what sparks their imaginations and brings books to life.

The hand-drawn creations made from crayons, markers or paint will be featured during the festival that will take place April 6 and 7 at Bottle Works, 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

Kerri Belardi, director of communications for The Learning Lamp, said they’ve reached out to schools in Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Indiana and Westmoreland counties, inviting them to enter their bookmarks into the contest.

If a school isn’t participating, individual students are welcome to submit their creations.

“The bookmark contest is the first actual event of the festival and it gets kids excited about the upcoming event,” she said.

“It allows them to be a part of the festival since they can come with their friends and family and see their bookmarks displayed.”

The contest is divided into four age categories – prekindergarten and kindergarten, first and second grades, third and fourth grades and fifth and sixth grades.

There also is an opportunity for classrooms to submit bookmarks as a group.

Throughout the event, book festival attendees will be able to cast their vote for their favorite in each category.

Each category winner will receive a prize package that includes a personal library of books.

“That excites me because we help them build their home libraries,” Belardi said.

The winning classroom in each category will receive a set of age-appropriate books that include those from the featured festival authors.

Deadline to submit bookmarks is Friday.

Belardi said students who participate are thrilled to show off their bookmarks and they love to watch people looking at their work.

“It’s always great to see the children’s reactions at the festival when looking at all the bookmarks and the moment they find theirs in the collection – it lights up their whole face,” she said.

“We hope this will get the kids excited about the upcoming festival since their artwork will be featured at the event.”

Belardi said the bookmark contest is one of her favorite aspects of the festival.

“It’s a delight when we receive packages from local schools stuffed full of colorful and creative bookmarks that students spent time working on,” she said.

“Last year, we received 596 entries, and this year, we hope to receive even more.”

For more information, call 814-262-0973 or visit

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.