Laureate na nÓg and children’s book illustrator PJ Lynch pictured with Pippa Smullen (age 4, Naas, Kildare), Sally White (age 10, Rathfarnham, Dublin) and Finn McLoughlin, (age 11, Castleknock, Dublin) at the launch of Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards 2018. (Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland)

Children across Cork have been working hard, practicing their painting skills and perfecting their masterpieces as the deadline for the Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards approaches.

Completed works of art need to be submitted by Friday, December 16.

Each year thousands of budding artists across Ireland create colourful artworks in the hope of being named the overall winner at next spring’s award ceremony.

Embracing creativity and education are the core objectives of the competition which is open to primary school students of all ages and this year’s theme, ‘Put Us in the Picture’, has been inspiring thousands of thoughtful and imaginative entries over the past number of weeks.

Sightsavers advocates for people living with disability in developing countries to have the same opportunities as everyone else and invites Irish children to get their creative caps on and produce their very own masterpiece which envisions an all-inclusive world where nobody is left out.

Don’t be afraid to go crazy and use vibrant colours are tips given by the judges for this year’s Junior Painter Awards and of course, don’t miss the closing date!

The judging panel comprises of disability campaigner and little person Sinead Burke (aka Minnie Melange), Laureate na nÓg and illustrator PJ Lynch, and artist and director of Arts and Disability Ireland Padraig Naughton.

Entrants have the chance to win cash prizes for their schools, sponsored by The Book Centre and Barker and Jones bookshop, and memberships and ‘toolboxes’ full of arts and crafts materials from ReCreate Ireland.

Fifteen regional winners will be selected and will have the opportunity to see their work displayed at a special Awards Day in spring 2018 where three overall national winners will be announced. Every child that enters will receive a Certificate of Participation in recognition of their artistic efforts.

The closing date for entry is Friday, December 16. Parents and children still wishing to get involved can do so by speaking to their school teacher or by visiting the Sightsavers website to request entry forms: