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above: a previous year's contest entry

2014 Contest Theme:
“Be Smart - Be Seen, I wait in a safe place!”


View current and past contest winners

2014 North Carolina
School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest

NAPT SBSW website

Each year, the National School Bus Safety Week (NSBSW) Committee conducts a poster contest to help publicize NSBSW. National judging takes place in the fall for a poster to be used the following year. This spring, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction is sponsoring a statewide poster contest. Winning entries will be displayed at and the top poster from each division will be submitted for the national poster contest.


  • All North Carolina public school students in the appropriate grades may enter.
  • The contest is divided into four divisions:
    • Division 1 - Grades K-2
    • Division 2 - Grades 3-5
    • Division 3 - Grades 6-8
    • Division 4 – Special Education
    • Division 5 – computer assisted drawing (CAD). (CAD entries are not eligible as the overall national winner but a Division winner will be awarded.)


  • Posters must be received at The Department of Public Instruction by: May 23, 2014.


Paper Type Designs should be on quality tag, poster illustration board or heavy paper. Construction paper may be used but must be mounted on quality tag poster stock. Lamination is not allowed.
Size: 12” X 18” or 11”X 17” for entire poster (including the bottom margin).
Margin: 1” white margin at the bottom of poster MANDATORY.
Axis: Design may be drawn vertically or horizontally.
Media: Print, crayon, cut paper, felt pen, etc. is acceptable. Wood, plastic, glass, metal or collage material is not acceptable. Glued on pieces will eliminate the poster
Lettering: All lettering must be legible and in freehand. It cannot contain stenciled, pre-printed, manufactured stick-on, press-on letters or tracings.
Copyright: Design may not incorporate any copyrighted characters (i.e. comic and television characters), photographs and magazine or newspaper illustrations.
Entry blank: There must be a 3”x 5” card/entry blank securely fastened to the BACK of the poster which includes the student’s name and home address, grade, age, teacher’s name, school name and school address.  PLEASE PRINT LEGIBLE & CLEARLY. See end of this webpage for entry blank


The poster theme must be original, correct in safety concept and the exclusive work of the student entering the contest in idea, design and execution. Instructors should supervise all work created. The poster theme must harmonize with the following slogan only:

“Be Smart - Be Seen, I wait in a safe place!”


Note: This slogan may be divided. That is, “Be Smart – Be Seen”  can be in one part of the poster and “I wait in a safe place!” can be in another part of the poster.

The slogan emphasizes that students should stay safe at their school bus stop – most importantly, waiting back from the roadway and preparing to board in single file. If the bus stop is on the opposite side of the road, students should make eye contact with the bus driver before stepping into the roadway.  To be consistent with the poster theme, no students may be depicted in the roadway.


  • Illustrations must be positive in approach, demonstrating only proper school bus safety behaviors.
  • At least part of a YELLOW BUS must be present in the poster.
  • To be considered on a national level, posters should include only generic printed matter other than the official slogan “Be Smart - Be Seen, I wait in a safe place!”.
  • It should not be "North Carolina specific."
    • For instance, you may indicate a bus number on a bus illustration but do not specific county names, state designation or actual school names.  This helps ensure a fair judging process at the state and national level.
  • Download the Rules


  • Local Education Agency (LEA) entries should be coordinated through the transportation office.
  • Only 12 posters per school district will be accepted at the state office.
    • Those 12 posters should consist of no more than 3 posters per category (i.e., exceptional children, grades K-2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8).
    • LEAs may want to conduct a local judging depending on the number of entries.
  • When submitting these 12 posters, someone should ensure that the entries have followed the rules so that none are disqualified at the state level.
  • Please package the posters properly. Mail tubes may be used, but please ensure that posters are not creased from rolling. Using flat packaging is best.
  • CAD entries should be sized appropriately and sent in a JPG or TIFF format. They may be emailed to
  • All mailed entries should be sent to the following address:

    NCDPI -Transportation Services 
    Attention:  NC School Bus Poster Contest
    6319 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC  27699-6319


  • Posters will be judged at the state level by pupil transportation staff from across the state. Posters not complying with aforementioned rules will be disqualified. All qualified posters will be judged on the following criteria:
    • Relationship of the poster design to school bus safety practices.
    • Originality of the poster and how the idea is expressed in the design.
    • Artwork and its execution.
    • Visual impact of the poster design.
  • The right to modify any poster for reproduction is reserved by the National School Bus Safety Week Committee (NSBSW).
  • Only those posters received or postmarked by May 23, 2014 will be considered.


  • State winners will be recognized in writing from the Department of Public Instruction, Transportation Services. 
  • Winning posters will be featured at the website as our state winners.
  • The top poster from each division will be submitted for the national poster contest.
  • National prizes will be awarded for each division as follows:
1st Place and Overall Winner  
$500 Cash Prize
1st Place Winners of remaining 3 Divisions
$250 Cash Prize
2nd Place Winners of each 4 Divisions
$100 Cash Prize
3rd Place Winners of each 4 Divisions
$50 Cash Prize
1st Place Winner – CAD Division
$50 Cash Prize


  • Posters cannot be returned and those that are forwarded to the national contest become the property of the National School Bus Safety Week Committee.


Print, complete, and place on the BACK of your poster entry.  Please make sure the information is printed legible and filled out properly.


Student Name: ___________________________________________

Student’s Home Address: __________________________________

City: __________________ State ____________ Zip ____________

Grade:  _____       Age: _____________  County ________________

School: _________________________________________________

School Address __________________________________________

City ________________________State ___________Zip _________

Teacher's Name __________________________________________

Circle Division:   1. (K-2)   2. (3-5)  3. (6-8)   4. Special Ed.  5.  CAD












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