Pundits around the world are offering ideas and advice to President-elect Obama. Now kids have their turn through the "Dear President Obama" contest, which launched today on kids’ virtual world SecretBuilders.com.

The contest invites players to submit a picture and message to President Obama. THe winning entry will be published on President’s Day (Feb. 16, 2009) on the Huffington Post, and runners-up will also be featured on Gamezebo, political website Slate, and CNN’s iReport. (Read more.)

The grand prize winner also will receive $500 cash and will have $500 donated on their behalf to a school or a children’s charity of their choice.

To help kids prepare for the submission, an environment within SecretBuilders called the Mellow Drama Theater is decorated in a presidential theme and features an avatar of Ms. Huffington who greets kids. Kids click on the avatar to visit her “home” and engage in contest-related activities including a quiz on President-elect Obama. 

“We encourage contestant to look at the world around them and highlight anything – a place, person, idea, symbol, or phenomenon – that moves them, and to capture it in a drawing, photo, or video and a small write-up”, said Jeff Brenzel, Dean of Admissions at Yale University and a contest judge.

Other judges include Professor Munis Faruqui of University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Alan Kirchner, Professor of Political Science at Ohlone College, CA, William Rubel, founder of Stone Soup Children’s Magazine, and Scott Hassan, co founder of eGroups and founding team member of Google.

The “Dear President Obama” contest is also supported by organizations including Gamezebo, KidZui, Art in Action, Wild Planet Toy Company, Naseeb Networks, and Stone Soup magazine.

Visit SecretBuilders.com’s "Dear President Obama" contest page to learn more about how to enter. (To enter the contest, you must create a free SecretBuilders account.