Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest

Entries in the Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest must fall under either Alcohol Awareness and Abuse or Drug Awareness and Abuse. Each poster on either topic must include a slogan and an original visual image. Posters may be entered under only one topic.


The Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest is open to all young people between the ages of 8 and 14.

Contest entrants compete in one of two age groups – ages 8 through 11, and ages 12 through 14. (Note: Some school systems may have different age brackets for their elementary and middle schools. In some area, it may be appropriate to group students by grade rather than age. Sponsoring councils should use their own judgment in deciding how to group participants. Each local, regional and state competition many have up to four winning entries, one from each age category.)

Council officials should order the program kit (#SA-Kit) by calling 203-752-4270 or visiting, promote the contest and contact schools to participate.

Contest Levels

Council level - This is the first level of the competition. The winning posters from the council level competition are forwarded to either the district deputy or state council personnel, depending on the circumstances in your area.

District level - The district level of the contest occurs ONLY if more than one council in the district participates in the Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest. Check with your district deputy to see if this is the case in your area. The winning posters for this level of the contest are forwarded to state program personnel for either the regional or state competition. Check with your state poster contest chairman or youth director for the forwarding address and deadline for entries.

Regional/State - The regional level of competition usually only takes place in larger jurisdictions. In either case, scheduling, judges and prizes are provided by the state council. Winning posters at the state level should be sent to the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Mission, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326. For questions, you may call (203)752-4270.

Action Steps

Conducting a Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest is an excellent way to get the young people of your community involved in addressing issues that directly affect them. It is fun and easy to conduct: fun because of the opportunity to witness the creativity and optimism of the young people in your community; easy because you can tap into existing structures like schools, CYOs, and Squires circles to do a lot of preliminary work. It can also provide excellent local, national, and potentially international, publicity for the council.

These are the steps/tips in conducting a poster contest:

  1. Organize your contest. The council’s youth activities director, in consultation with the grand knight, should select a team that will administer the contest. This team will be involved in all phases of the contest: organization, publicity, judging, and prizes. Columbian Squires circles should work with their sponsoring councils in conducting contests. The council should be “ready to go” at the start of the school year, so that the participants can get right to work. A suggested time frame would be for the students to complete work on their posters during the first half of the school year, with the judging at the local level to take place in January. District judging should take place in February, with state winners chosen in early March. Entries for the international level of competition must be received by the Supreme Council office by March 31. International winners will be announced prior to the close of the school year.
  2. Once the team is in place, the next step is to contact all schools, both public and private, in your community to publicize your contest. Solicit the support of the teachers and administrators; ask them to encourage their students to participate. Teachers, school administrators and, most importantly, young people can serve as judges, as can substance abuse counselors, law enforcement officials and K of C officers. Each entry should be the work of an individual student. Schools can use the contest as a project for art, health or contemporary issues classes.
  3. If there are multiple schools participating, consider conducting preliminary judging. In this way, the people in the community serving as judges will not be overburdened with a volume of posters, and the judging process will proceed more quickly.
  4. Display promotional materials prominently. The posters included in the Poster Contest Packet should be displayed in any school from which students would participate, as well as youth centers, church halls, libraries, Boys and Girls Clubs, skating rinks, shopping centers, YMCA and YWCA buildings, and the council home. On the poster, indicate the name of the council contact person and a telephone number to call for additional information. Supplement these posters with newspaper ads, radio and TV spots and other publicity. Additional posters are available free of charge from the Supreme Council office.
  5. Build public interest in the contest. Use the sample press release to announce your contest to local newspapers and through radio announcements. Placing the promotional posters in prominent places around town will also accomplish this.
  6. Outline the criteria for your judges to use in rating the entries. The goal of this program is to create/increase awareness among young people of the problems of alcohol and drug abuse, while encouraging them to speak to other youngsters “in their own language” to address these vital issues. Meet with your judges in advance of the judging process so that all are “on the same page” regarding what to look for in a winning entry.
  7. Recognize all participants by presenting participation certificates to all who submit entries, and council champion certificates to your council’s winners. Encourage each school to develop some type of recognition for the winning entries in that particular school.

Support Materials

Below is a complete list of the rules, action steps, and guidelines to running a poster contest. These documents, which include forms to fill out to enter the poster contest, are in pdf format and are printable for your convenience.

Printed Materials
Item Form #
Substance Abuse Poster Contest Kit (#SA-KIT)
Participation Report Form 4001
Entry Form/Judging Sheet 4000
Council Winner Certificate 4015
Council Participant Certificate 4016
Program Guide 4112
Promotional Poster A 4357A
Promotional Poster B 4357B

Supreme Council Contact Information
When ordering materials, please use the online request form when available, or mail or fax a Requisition Form (#1) to the respective department.
Orders made online or faxed in should not be mailed in, as it may result in a duplicate order. Please allow four weeks to ensure delivery by the event.
DepartmentPostal ServiceTelephone / Fax
Supply Department

Knights of Columbus
P.O. Box 1670
New Haven, CT 06507

Tel: 203-752-4214
Fax: 800-266-6340

Department of
Fraternal Mission

Knights of Columbus
1 Columbus Plaza
New Haven, CT 06510

Tel: 203-752-4270
Fax: 203-752-4108

Previous Winners

2016-2017 Substance Abuse Poster Contest Winners

2015-2016 Substance Abuse Poster Contest Winners 

2014-2015 Substance Abuse Poster Contest Winners 

2013-2014 Substance Abuse Poster Contest Winners 

2012-2013 Substance Abuse Poster Contest Winners

2011-2012 Substance Abuse Poster Contest Winners