|SPRINGFIELD, IL – Teens with star potential have an opportunity to showcase their talent while shedding light on how substance abuse affects them and their peers. Illinois. . .Get in the kNOw, a youth substance abuse prevention campaign and program of First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan's Futures for Kids, is inviting students to submit song lyrics to the second annual Illinois. . .Get in the kNOw Songwriting Contest on how drugs and alcohol have negatively impacted their lives.|
Entering the contest is easy. Students must write their own original lyrics that communicate why they choose to stay substance free. Lyrics can also describe how a particular incident involving alcohol or drugs had a negative impact on them, a family member, or a friend – even better if the lyrics contain a "lesson learned" as a result of an incident. Ten regional finalists will be selected to perform their song set to music of their choice at the Future for Kids Youth Summit in Springfield in May.
"We can't make decisions for our young people, but we certainly can do our best to inform them about the real dangers of substance abuse that will help them make the right decision to say ‘no,’" said Illinois First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan. "I hope schools take advantage of this special opportunity to make a positive impact on their students."
Students can pick-up entry forms from English and Language Arts teachers at public middle and high schools statewide. Private high schools and K-12 unit school districts also received songwriting contest information. Musical accompaniment is not required for contest consideration; however, the campaign welcomes students to take that extra step.
"Music plays an important role for teens. In many cases, it is what helps ‘shape’ who they are," said Illinois State Police Director Sam W. Nolen. "The songwriting contest is a great way for them to express themselves in their own words on why they are better off drug-free."
The songwriting contest grand prize winner will win a professional recording of their song in a recording studio. The campaign also will award great prizes to the second- and third-place winners. Finalists will perform their song on Sunday, May 21, at the Futures for Kids Youth Summit in Springfield. Complete entry forms and rules are available at local schools, or by calling the Illinois. . . Get in the kNOw campaign hotline, 312-895-4747. Deadline for entries is Monday, April 10.
Illinois. . .Get in the kNOw is one of several initiatives First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan is leading as part of the Future for Kids program. Future for Kids is working to reduce youth drug use, high school dropout rates, and juvenile crime and delinquency. One of the best ways to reach teens with drug prevention information is during school – where teens spend the majority of their time.