Students could win $500 in statewide editorial contest

One local winner to be awarded a prize of $100

Distracted driving is involved in more than 431,000 vehicle crashes each year, often involving injuries and death. Despite knowing the risks, seven in 10 drivers engage in smartphone activity while driving, and four in 10 teens admit to social networking while driving.

In an effort to raise awareness for its “It Can Wait” campaign, AT&T and the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association, in conjunction with PNA member newspapers like The Sentinel, is sponsoring a contest for high school students across Pennsylvania.

Students in grades nine through 12 are asked to submit an opinion column that answers the question “Why is it important to take the ‘It Can Wait’ pledge that distracted driving is never OK?”

There is no fee to enter this contest.

“It Can Wait” is a national movement urging drivers to visit, where they can pledge to care for those around them and put their phone down while driving and share their pledges via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook.

The statewide winner will receive $500, but The Sentinel is holding a local contest in which the author of the winning entry, as chosen by our panel of judges, will earn $100.

Entries will be accepted locally through Dec. 1 with the local winner to be announced in January.

The winner’s entry will be automatically entered in the statewide contest. The winner of that contest will be revealed the week of Feb. 12. That person will not only be awarded $500, but will also be honored at the Student Keystone Press Awards luncheon on March 14.

Entries must be typed and include the author’s name, school, grade, home address and a phone number at which he or she may be contacted (addresses and phone numbers will not be published). Entries that do not include this information will be disqualified.

There is a limit of one opinion column per person.

Entries can be dropped off at The Sentinel office at the corner of Sixth Street and Summit Drive in Pleasant Acres; mailed (with “Attn: It Can Wait” clearly marked on the envelope) to 352 Sixth St., Lewistown, PA 17044; or emailed to

All entries become the property of The Sentinel. The Sentinel reserves the right to edit, publish or reject any entry. All judging decisions are final. Immediate family members of employees of The Sentinel or any of the judges are not eligible.

For more information regarding the contest, contact Managing Editor Brian Cox at (717) 248-6741, ext. 119 or at