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updated: 8/26/2011 8:20 AM

Four Lake County kids win in Metra safety contest

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Metra announced the Lake County winners of its annual Safety Contest designed to promote and reinforce railroad safety to keep children safe around trains.

Copeland Manor School kindergarten student Samantha Chen and Robert Crown Elementary School second-grade student Jeremy Krause were awarded second place in the competition. Third-place winners include Deerfield High School ninth-grader Joshua Andrew Moy and Robert Crown Elementary School first-grader Trinity Contreras.

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Each year, Metra's Safety Contest invites students in grades K-12 throughout its six-county service area to submit poster and essay entries highlighting the importance of railroad safety.

This year's contest theme was "Safety First: Look, Listen and Live." The agency received more than 5,000 student entries from nearly 250 schools throughout the region.

Tasked with selecting the winners was a panel of 20 judges including government officials, representatives from safety and education advocacy groups, business and community leaders, members of the media and Metra representatives.

Additionally, 600 members of the public participated in the Safety Poster Contest "People's Choice Award" voting at displays at each of Metra's downtown commuter stations.

"Nothing is more important to Metra than keeping children -- and the public -- safe," said Alexander Clifford, Metra CEO. "I would like to commend each and every person who participated in the safety campaign for their leadership -- parents and schools who share safety lessons with children, our panel of judges and commuters who helped select the winners, and most importantly, the students who participated in the contest learning what they can do to keep themselves and others safe around trains."

The first-place poster designs will be featured as safety posters and distributed to more than 2,000 schools in northeastern Illinois. The posters will also be featured in station displays, in Metra's 2012 safety calendar, on monthly tickets and on Metra's contest website and Facebook page. Winning safety essays will also be featured in the safety calendar, the Metra contest website and Facebook page.

First-, second- and third-place winners were chosen from each grade level for the Metra Safety Poster Contest. First-place poster and essay contest winners receive a laptop computer, while second- and third-place poster contest winners receive $250 and $100 gift cards, respectively.

Information about the campaign and all of the Safety Contest winners is available at www.metracontest.com and www.facebook.com/MetraContest.

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