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Students in the Akron Central School District are participating in a program of the arts sponsored by the Parent Teacher Association.

The purpose of the project -- which is part of the PTA's Education and Achievement Program -- is to give students an opportunity to make something in the arts rather than academics, said Debbie Koss, who with Melanie Henderson are co-chairwomen of the program.

The contest, judged locally, encourages children from preschool to grades K-12 to express themselves through four categories of music, visual arts, literature and photography.

This year's theme is: "Wouldn't it be Great if. . . ." Entries are due next Monday.

Mrs. Koss said the first place winner from each category will compete at a Western New York District level. From there any student who places will go on to a national level.

Mrs. Koss noted that because of changing conditions, teachers can't provide school time to work on projects, but are encouraged to help any student they see who may benefit.

"Gift certificates are presented to first-place winners at the end of the school year, Mrs. Koss said. "A number of athletic and academic awards are given at that time, and children who may not be academic or athletic will be recognized for other strong points."

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