Public Transportation Benefits Essay Contest

Metra's 2017-2018 Safety Poster and Essay Contest! Show us why you should keep your “Eyes Up, Devices Down: Look, Listen, Live."

For the 12th straight year, Metra asked the region's students to illustrate through posters or essays the importance of safe behaviors near railroad tracks and rail crossings. The theme for the 2017-2018 school year: “Eyes Up, Devices Down: Look, Listen, Live" taps into the fact that electronic devices and social media are ever present in our lives and the inappropriate use of these tools near railroad tracks is extremely dangerous.

The contest is open to all students in grades K through 12 living or attending school in Metra’s six-county service area: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will. The deadline for all entries is Wednesday,Jan. 31, 2018. Information on the winners of the 2016-2017 contest can be found here.

In 2016 alone, 511 people lost their lives in the U.S. when trespassing on railroad property, according to statistics compiled by the Federal Railroad Administration, and 265 people were killed last year in collisions at railroad crossings. Each one of these deaths is a tragedy and  most were completely preventable. That's why Metra feels that it's so important to reach out and educate people, especially our children, about how to be smart and stay safe around the railroad tracks and rail crossings found throughout our region.

The Safety Poster Contest is a key part of these ongoing efforts to increase public awareness. Through the contest, we're asking students to take on an advocacy role  and create an image that clearly communicates the importance of safety near the tracks. One first-, second- and third-place winner will be selected from each grade, K through 12, and awarded the following prizes:

First Place: iPad
Second Place: $250 gift card
Third Place: $100 gift card

The winning designs will be featured in Metra’s safety calendar, website, station displays and on weekend passes.

Students are also encouraged to enter the 2016-2017 Metra Safety Essay Contest. Contest participants are asked to describe in 300 words or less how to “Eyes Up, Devices Down: Look, Listen, Live" when near trains and railroad tracks.  There will be a first place awarded in each of the essay contest's three divisions: Grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12. The first-place winners in the essay contest will receive an iPad.

Metra wants as many students as possible to participate and be exposed to rail safety information and encourage schools to make rail safety a school-wide project. Metra will  recognize the school that submits the most entries in the 2017-2018 Safety Poster Contest by awarding it a new computer compatible with the school’s current system. Each school’s entries will be totaled after the contest deadline: Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. 

Exclusive news and announcements are also available on the Metra contest Facebook page

In the tabs on the left side of this page, you can see the work of past contest winners, news coverage about the contest, review Contest Rules, and find out how to submit your entry. Teachers will also find useful information under the tab marked Classroom Materials: factsheets, coloring pages and bulletin board displays to help them integrate railroad safety messages into their lesson plans. In addition, the site includes games and information sheets designed for parents and driver education instructors.

Posters advertising the contest can be printed out in English and Spanish.

Once you've completed your entry, go here to submit your entry electronically or print out an entry form here and mail it to us at: Metra Contest, 547 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60661.

A hungry shark befriends a penguin. A dog tries to save his owner by jumping in the lake. Helpful tips to improve the lives of animals in our community. And the many ways, from nourishment to companionship, animals benefit us.These were the topics of this year’s winning entries for Arlington’s annual Animal Essay Contest.City leaders, including City Councilwoman Sheri Capehart, surprised winners Friday at schools across Arlington.“The essays were creative, and the students were really thinking outside the box,” said Chris Huff, the city’s animal services manager. “You could see that our young people have developed a lot of insight and knowledge on the subject of animals.”More than 1,200 students at public, private, and home schools submitted essays, the highest turnout since the competition began 11 years ago.First-place winners in each grade received a $500 savings bond. Second-place received a $350 bond, and third-place received a $150 bond.Each grade was asked to write about a specific topic.For Grade 3: If animals could talk, what would they say?For Grade 4: What feelings do you think animals have?For Grade 5: What are some ways that can make life better for animals in your community?For Grade 6: How do animals benefit us in our daily lives?Essays included stories about beloved family pets, whimsical tales about talking armadillos, and information on the importance of picking up litter to provide strong habitats to wild animals.A panel of local citizens and members of the Arlington Animal Services Center Advisory Board judged the essays on elements of writing, including focus, development of ideas, and voice.WinnersThird grade:
1st place: Megan McDonald, Moore Elementary
2nd place: Jace White, Brockett Elementary
3rd place: Kawther Osman, Butler ElementaryFourth grade:
1st place: Vivian Tran, Fitzgerald Elementary
2nd place: Dawna Berry, Butler Elementary
3rd place: Jacob Fly, Fitzgerald ElementaryFifth grade:
1st place: Christina van Waasbergen, Butler Elementary
2nd place: Tyler Blake, Children’s University
3rd place: Tanner Greenwood, Corey ElementarySixth grade:
1st place: Amy Karlson, Children’s University
2nd place: Gideon Adeyemo, Lynn Hale Elementary
3rd place: Julian Lopez, Bryant ElementaryBy Sarah Bahari 

posted by Office of Communicationfiled under: Animal Services, Arlington ISD, Community, Education, Government, Headlines, Newstagged under: animal essay, contest, schools

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