It Can Wait Campaign

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PNA, the PNA Foundation, Pennsylvania’s newspapers, and AT&T are joining together again to host an “It Can Wait” editorial contest to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.  The 2017 contest, which begins October 3, 2016, is open to all Pennsylvania high school students and offers a $500 prize for the column or editorial that best answers the question, "Why is it important to take the It Can Wait pledge to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone?"

While 95 percent of drivers disapprove of distracted driving, more than 431,000 vehicle crashes a year are caused by it, often involving injuries and death. Despite knowing the risks, seven in ten drivers engage in smart phone activity while driving, and four in ten teens admit to social networking while driving.

We are asking PNA members to hold local contests, with a monetary or other prize of your choosing, to encourage high school students to write a column or editorial about the dangers of distracted driving.  Entries may also be submitted by individuals from unsponsored areas.  The PNA will announce the winning statewide entry the week of March 6, and the award will be presented at a luncheon on April 12, at the Hershey Lodge.

“It Can Wait” is a national movement urging drivers to visit www.ItCanWait.com, where they can pledge to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone, and share their pledges via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has helped increase awareness of the dangers of texting while driving to about 90 percent for all audiences surveyed and inspired more than 10 million pledges not to text and drive.

Past Contests

In 2015 and 2016, PNA and the PNA Foundation joined with AT&T to host statewide “It Can Wait” editorial contests.  PNA member newspapers were invited to host local contests to encourage high school students in their communities to help make our roadways safer.  A winner was recognized in each participating community and entered into the statewide contest. 

Past statewide winners:

2016:  Kyleigh Balint, Sullivan County High School, Laporte.  Read Kyleigh’s essay and review our press release.

2015: Ryan Holzman, Boyertown Area High School.  Read more about Ryan’s statewide and local victories and review our press release.

 

 

For PNA Members!
Hold an “It Can Wait” contest

We are asking our members to hold local contests, with a monetary or other prize of your choosing, to encourage high school students to write a column or editorial about the dangers of texting and driving. The PNA Foundation will donate $100 to local winners’ cash prizes for the first 20 PNA member newspapers who contact us about their local “It Can Wait” contests.  Through the generous support of AT&T, we hope to encourage your participation and generate excitement in these communities. Read more details on our Member flyer.

The proposed contest dates are below, and we have included sample ads for your use or customization to encourage entries, as well as other helpful items.  Your winning entry (or entries) should be submitted to PNA no later than February 10, 2017, and we will announce the statewide winner the week of March 6. The winner(s) will be honored on April 12, in conjunction with America East and the Student Keystone Press Awards luncheon.

It Can Wait Ads

Tips for Success

Sample Rules

Entry Form

Sample Release

Submit your winning entries to the PNA Foundation by February 10, 2017. Either mail to PNA Foundation, 3899 N. Front St., Harrisburg, PA 17110, or email to foundation@pa-news.org.  Electronic entries must be submitted as a DOC, DOX, TXT or PDF.

Suggested timeline for participating newspapers:
 
Oct. 3 and on: Newspapers can begin promoting contest to their communities
Oct. 31 – Dec. 2: Entries accepted by participating newspapers
Dec. 2 – Dec. 31: Entries judged by participating newspapers
After Jan. 1: Participating newspapers announce their local winners
Feb. 10: Winning entries from participating newspapers due to PNA Foundation
Feb. 10 - March 3: PNA oversees state judging
Week of March 6: PNA Foundation announces state winner
April 12: Winner recognized at America East during Student Keystone Press Awards luncheon
 

Email the 
PNA Foundation with any questions, or phone (717) 703-3003.

For Students! 
Enter the contest for a chance to win $500!

If your local news media company is not holding a contest in your area, we encourage you to enter with PNA directly.

This contest is open to ninth through twelfth grade high school students in Pennsylvania who are 13 and older, except for employees, immediate family members or anyone living in the same residence as any employee of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, Mid-Atlantic Newspaper Services, Inc., or the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation.

Official Rules

Entry Form

Submit your entry by February 10, 2017, to the PNA Foundation via mail to: PNA Foundation, 3899 N. Front Street, Harrisburg, PA  17110, or email to foundation@pa-news.org. Electronic entries must be submitted as a DOC, DOCX, TXT or PDF file format.
Email the PNA Foundation with any questions, or phone (717) 703-3003.
Contact Us  |  3899 North Front Street, Harrisburg PA 17110  |  Phone: (717) 703-3000  |  Fax: (717) 703-3001