Local winner will receive $100 and have his/her piece published in the Lake Sun

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 say that they are likely not to text and drive if friends tell them that it is wrong.

The Missouri Press Association (MPA), AT&T and the Lake Sun, along with other newspapers statewide, are challenging Missouri high school students to write an editorial or opinion column highlighting the dangers of texting while driving and encouraging their peers to take the It Can Wait pledge.

The piece must answer the question, "Why is it important to take the It Can Wait pledge to never text and drive?" The piece will 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."

The piece must be at least 450 words and no more than 600 words.

The local winner will receive a $100 cash prize. The winning submission will be published in the Lake Sun along with the second and third place winning entries.

Who can participate in this contest?

The contest is open to all students enrolled in any public or private high school in Camden, Miller and Morgan counties. Home-schooled students may also participate.

How are entries to be submitted?

Entries can be emailed to newsroom@lakesunonline.com, mailed to Newsroom, 918 N. Business Route 5, Camdenton, MO, 65026; or hand delivered to the same address at the Lake Sun office in Camdenton.

Who will judge this contest?

Local Newspapers will determine the local winners.The MPA will determine the statewide winner.

What is the prize for the statewide winner?

The prize will include $500, a tour of the MU School of Journalism and the MPA Office, and a dinner for the student and their parents with the leadership of AT&T, the MPA and their Local Newspaper Publisher.