Friday, September 5, 2014
The S.C. Press Association and participating S.C. newspapers are challenging Palmetto State high school students to write an essay, editorial or opinion column that highlights the dangers of texting while driving.
The statewide winner will receive a $500 prize underwritten by AT&T.
Texting while driving is an epidemic. More than 100,000 crashes a year involve drivers who are texting, often causing life-changing injuries and deaths. Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident. Despite knowing the risks of texting while driving, 43 percent of teens admit to texting while driving. However, there is an opportunity to change this behavior. Ninety percent of teen drivers say they would stop if a friend in the car asked them and 78 percent said they are likely not to text and drive if friends tell them it is wrong.
Write an essay, editorial or opinion column that answers the question, “Why is it important to take the ‘it can wait’ pledge to never text and drive?” Your piece should highlight the dangers of texting while driving. The piece must include the following call to action: “Take the pledge to never text and drive at ItCanWait.com.” Entries should be typed and between 300 and 500 words long.
Who can participate in this contest?
This contest is open to all S.C. high school students, including those being homeschooled. Each entry must be the work of an individual student.
How are entries to be submitted?
Entries are to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line of “It Can Wait contest” or mailed or hand-delivered to the Georgetown Times, 615 Front Street, Georgetown. Please include your name, age, school and phone number with the entry.
Sept. 8 – Local contest period begins.
Oct. 13 – Local contest period ends. All entries must be received by participating local papers.
Oct. 23 – Local winners will be announced and sent to SCPA to compete in the statewide contest.
Nov. 7 – Statewide winner announced.
Who will judge this contest?
Each local newspaper will determine its local winner and send the essay to SCPA to compete in the statewide contest. Statewide submissions will be evaluated by a panel of journalists and judged based on concept, effectiveness of message and writing quality.
What is the prize for the statewide winner?
The prize will include $500, and a luncheon for the student and his or her parents with the leadership of SCPA, AT&T and the local newspaper.
The statewide winning entry will also be made available to S.C. newspapers to publish at their discretion.
Local winning entries will be published by the local newspaper.