Transit Agency Engages Students Across the Region to Promote Safety
Wheaton, Ill. – Winners have been chosen in the 2013 edition of Metra’s Safety Poster and Essay Contest, designed to promote and reinforce railroad safety messages and keep children safe around trains. Hundreds of students from across the six-county region participated by creating artwork or writing essays around the theme “Take Care, Be Aware, Look Listen Live.”
Each year, Metra’s Safety Contest invites students in grades K-12 throughout its six-county service area to submit poster designs and essays highlighting the importance of railroad safety. Tasked with selecting the winners were a panel of 20 judges, including government officials, representatives from safety and education advocacy groups, business and community leaders, media and railroad professionals.
“Safety is Metra’s highest priority and this contest allows us to bring the discussion of rail safety into our region’s classrooms so that we educate our future riders as well as our current riders,” said Metra Deputy Executive Director Alex Z. Wiggins. “We could not be more proud of the contributions made by these students to our mission to promote the importance of safety near our trains and tracks.”
First, second and third-place winners were chosen from each grade level for the Metra Safety Poster Contest. One winner from each grade group – elementary school, middle school and high school – was chosen for the Safety Essay Contest. First-place poster and essay contest winners receive an iPad, while second- and third-place poster contest winners receive $250 and $100 gift cards, respectively.
A People’s Choice winner will also be selected via voting on Metra’s website www.metrarail.com/2013postercontest . The winner will be selected from the first prize winners through an online poll. Voting will be available online beginning Wednesday, July 17 through midnight August 5 and is open to the public. The artist who garners the most votes will receive an additional $250 prize. The winner will be announced at the August meeting of the Metra Board.
Metra also recognizes the school with the most entries submitted in the poster contest. This year’s winner is Chicago’ Mozart Elementary. The school will receive a computer for use in the classroom.
The first-place poster designs will be printed and distributed to more than 2,000 schools in northeast Illinois. The posters will also be featured in station displays, in Metra’s 2014 safety calendar, on monthly tickets and on the Metra website. Winning safety essays will also be featured in the safety calendar, the Metra website and Facebook page. The second and third place posters will also be featured on the contest’s Facebook page.
The contest, which is in its seventh year, would not be possible without the support of its sponsors, whose generous contributions have helped Metra defray the costs of the contest prizes as well as the production of the safety posters. This year’s contest sponsors include the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and Hubbard Radio Group, owners of Chicago radio stations 97.1 FM The Drive, 100.3 Chicago’s Rewind and 101.9 The Mix.
To date, campaign outreach efforts include the distribution of more than 300,000 safety posters and 12,000 Metra Safety Calendars and more than two million pencil kits to schools throughout the region.
The following Wheaton student was chosen as a 2012-2013 Safety Poster Contest second-place winner:
- Gwyn Lockwood, First Grade, Lowell Elementary, Wheaton, Ill.