A Palatine girl is amongst the winners in Metra’s annual Safety Contest, designed to encourage children to be safe around trains.
The campaign this year boasted 5,500 entries in the safety poster and essay contests, with entries from more than 250 schools in the Midwest region. Emma Forman, a Winston Campus fourth grader, was selected along with two other young people, as first place winner in the essay contest category.
This year’s theme was “Lead the Way: Look, Listen and Live.” Students kindergarten through grade 12 were invited to participate.
Here are some excerpts from Forman’s first-place winning essay:
“When the warning lights are flashing and the bell is ringing or the gates are down, we don't walk or drive across the tracks! Even if we think the warnings are because of a stopped train, or a train heading away from us, we don't cross,” Forman wrote.
“That train could hide another train coming toward us! We really don't want to drive or step out in front of a train,” Forman wrote on. “It is worth an extra minute of waiting until the train leaves and the lights stop and the gates go up. My life is worth an extra minute.”
One winner from each grade group – elementary school, middle school and high school – was chosen for the Safety Essay Contest. Winners were selected by a panel of 20 judges, which included business and community leaders, government officials and advocacy group members.
The winning poster contest entries will be sent out to more than 2,000 Illinois schools and featured in displays at train stations in northeast Illinois. Winning safety essays, including Forman’s, will be featured in the safety calendar, on the Metra contest website and Facebook page.