Summer means a lot of free time for young kids, so the Van Alestyne Police Department in Texas took this season as an opportunity to teach them about emergency preparedness. In line with these efforts, the VAPD recently hosted a 911 illustration contest for elementary school students which, according to communications supervisor Ashley Kennedy, was aimed at informing kids about their responsibility to call 911 whenever their guardians/parents are unable to do so. According to the Herald Democrat:
Kennedy said this is the first year for the Department to offer a drawing contest, but the communications department is always working to find opportunities to teach children how to use emergency services. That includes visiting schools, offering tours and attending story time at the Van Alstyne Public Library.
Schools, universities, and other institutions are successfully getting children engaged in worthwhile pursuits and spreading important information at the same time. Any such organization that seeks to promote its advocacy through creative contest ideas should consider using an excellent and efficient contest management software, like what Skild, Inc. offers, so they can attend to other tasks aside from managing entries.
For maximum efficiency, contest organizers typically designate multiple committees to handle various aspects of the event. Certain committees take charge of logistics (i.e. managing the budget), marketing (i.e. attracting contestants), and event planning (i.e. administering the contest itself). An emergency committee should also be created so that communication mishaps and “no shows” are addressed immediately. Since many competitions like the VAPD’s 911 drawing contest run on a shoestring budget, contest committees should exercise good coordination and planning at all times.
Organizers can also think outside of the box and experiment with other equally engaging events to reach their goals. For instance, writing competitions, “Tweet-a-Pic” contests, puzzle games, and any such creative idea for contests can be pulled off with the help of teachers and school officials.
Of course, coordinating with people outside of one’s organization brings with it another set of obstacles that need to be overcome with convenient contest management software. Such a contest platform allows the organization to design a contest page that seamlessly integrates with the main webpage. Organizers also find it easier to create timelines, customize registration forms, disseminate contest rules, post updates, and keep each other in the loop so everyone is on the same page prior to and during the launch.
(Source: Drawing contest focuses on 911 education, Herald Democrat, July 19, 2014)