CHICAGO (CBS) — Schoolchildren throughout the Chicago area have until April 15 to get aboard for this year’s Metra Safety Poster contest.

Any child in the kindergarten through 12th grade can enter. Winners are named by grade, with the top prize in each grade receiving an iPad, second place $250 and third place $100.

Metra’s Meg Thomas Reile said posters must be designed around a specific theme.

“This year the theme is ‘Take Care, Be Aware, Look, Listen and Live!,'” she said. “We always pair the ‘Look, Listen and Live,’ which is the Operation Lifesaver message with our annual safety message that we put out with the campaign, and this year it’s ‘Take care and always be aware around the tracks.'”

Operation Lifesaver is the non-profit group, financed by the railroad industry, to promote public safety around trains.

Winning posters are also reprinted on tickets, in a calendar and as posters at Metra stations, so Reile said it’s entirely possible that the parents of a winner could see the child’s poster on their own Metra tickets.

Reile said each year’s contest draw hundreds of entries, but she said that Metra is in special need this year of additional entries from high school freshmen and juniors.

While many entries come in as organized class projects, Reile said individual children can submit their artwork.

They can enter by mailing entries, postmarked by April 15, to Metra Contest, 547 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1400, Chicago, Ill. 60661, or by e-mailing entries to

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