It Can Wait Campaign

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The PNA Foundation and Pennsylvania’s newspapers, together with AT&T are joining again to host an “It Can Wait” editorial contest to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.  The 2019 contest, which begins October 1, 2018, 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 drive distraction free?" At the judges’ discretion, additional second and third place awards of $200 and $100, respectively, may be presented.

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.  Thanks to the generous support of AT&T, 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.  Entries may also be submitted by individuals from unsponsored areas.  The PNA Foundation will announce the winning statewide entry the week of Feb. 25 and the award will be presented at a luncheon on April 3, at the Hershey Lodge.

While 95 percent of drivers disapprove of distracted driving hundreds of thousands of vehicle crashes a year are caused by it, often involving injuries and death. Despite knowing the risks, nearly nine in ten people admit to using their smartphone while driving and four in ten drivers call distracted driving a habit. However, 57 percent of people are more likely to stop driving distracted if someone pressures them.

“It Can Wait” is a national movement urging drivers to visit www.itcanwait.com, where they can pledge to care for those around them and put their phones down while driving, 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 30 million pledges not to drive distracted.

Past Contests

Since 2015, the PNA Foundation has joined with AT&T to host statewide “It Can Wait” editorial contests.  PNA member newspapers are invited to host local contests to encourage high school students in their communities to help make our roadways safer.  A winner is recognized in each participating community and entered into the statewide contest.  Since 2015, nearly 600 students have participated in the contest across Pennsylvania.

Past statewide winners:

2018: Brooke Yurick, Bermudian Springs High School, York Springs. Read Yurick's winning entry and read our press release. ​

Treston Johnson, a senior at Carlisle High School, received second place honors, while Julie Bauer, a Bellwood-Antis High School senior, placed third (view Bauer's entry).   

2017: Biridiana Lua-Garcia, Bermudian Springs High School, York Springs.  Read Lua-Garcia's winning entry and review our press release.

Additional awards were added in 2017.  Abby Riggio, Blackhawk High School, Beaver Falls, received second place honors (view Riggio's entry), while Leah Jameson, West York Area High School, placed third (view Jameson's entry). 

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 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.  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 encourage your participation and hope to 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 8, 2019, and we will announce the statewide winner(s) the week of Feb. 25. The winner(s) will be honored on April 3, 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 8, 2019. 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, DOCX, TXT or PDF.

Suggested timeline for participating newspapers:

Oct. 1 and on – Newspapers can begin promoting contest to their communities

Nov. 5 – Dec. 7 – Entries accepted by participating newspapers

Dec. 7 – Jan. 4 – Entries judged by participating newspapers

After Jan. 4 – Participating newspapers announce their local winners

Feb. 8 – Winning entries from participating newspapers due to PNA Foundation

Feb. 12 – 25 – PNA Foundation oversees state judging

Week of Feb. 25 – PNA Foundation announces state winner (s)

April 3 – Winner recognized at America East during Student Keystone Press Awards luncheon

Email the PNA Foundation with any questions or phone (717) 703-3000.

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 the PNA Foundation 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 8, 2019, 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) 703-3000.

Contact Us  |  3899 North Front Street, Harrisburg PA 17110  |  Phone: (717) 703-3000  |  Fax: (717) 703-3001