Journalism and Design an Ad Contest

Celebration 225: The LNP/LancasterOnline Journalism and Design an Ad Contest kicks off in anticipation of 2019, a year that will mark the founding of the newspaper that now operates under the banner of LNP Media Group, of which LNP and LancasterOnline are a part. Think about it: Our community newspaper is rooted in 1794 — when George Washington was president! This contest, formerly known as the Newspapers In Education or NIE program, gives Lancaster County students in grades kindergarten through 12 an opportunity to recognize and celebrate that rich heritage.

2019 Journalism contest entries must focus on topics related to:

  • The history of newspapers and news gathering and distribution in Lancaster County.
  • Lancaster County heritage and culture.
  • Significant local news events and newsmakers over the past 225 years.
  • First Amendment freedom of the press.
  • Media’s role in democracy.

2019 Design an Ad entries:

  • Will pair a class of students with an LNP/LancasterOnline advertiser.
  • Students will strive to convey the advertiser’s mission and message to the public.
  • Content for this portion of the contest is not required to focus on a 225th anniversary topic.
  • Will include a digital ad competition, a first for this contest.

LNP’s Journalism and Design an Ad contest offers an excellent opportunity for educators to encourage students to:

  • Think independently.
  • Be creative and constructive as they communicate and express themselves through words, art and video.
  • Challenge artistic talent.
  • Meet academic standards

The winning entries will be published in an expanded LNP Schools section Tuesday, May 21, 2019. They will also be featured on Lancaster Online. Students and teachers will also be recognized at a reception to be held 6-8 p.m. May 21 at LNP.

You may register for the contest by reading all of the instructions and information below and following the registration directions.

Teachers, download and print a handy DATES TO REMEMBER form HERE.


Register Now

Register by emailing Barbara Hough Roda at; DEADLINE to Register is December 21, 2018.  Please include Celebration 225 in the subject line with Teacher Name, School, District, Grade, and the Categories and Grade Levels to be entered. TEACHERS WHO REGISTER BY THE DEADLINE WILL BE ENTERED TO WIN A $100 GIFT CARD FOR CLASSROOM SUPPLIES. 

  • Each teacher must register each year because records are not kept from previous years.
  • For the Journalism Contest, you may initiate the contest process as soon as you are registered.
  • For the Design an Ad Contest, public schoolteachers will receive their assigned advertiser, entry forms, and directions through Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 mail or personal delivery. Nonpublic schoolteachers will receive their assigned advertiser, entry forms, and directions through USPS. Both mailings will occur on or before January 1, 2019. (Advertiser logos will be emailed to participating teachers at the same time).


Each teacher must complete a contest summary sheet for his or her class(es); a student entry form must accompany each entry.

Note the new and later deadline. All entries are due on or must be postmarked by Friday, February 1, 2019.

Click Here to Download the Forms



Celebration 225 Contest

ATTN: Barbara Hough Roda

LNP Media Group Inc.

P.O. Box 1328

Lancaster, PA 17608-1328

Or drop off at the LNP Media Group lobby at 8 W. King Street, Lancaster. Hours are 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Please do not send through IU 13 mail.

Check that your students have completed all sections of their entry forms correctly.

Encourage students to write legibly. Legible handwriting prevents any misspelled names in the newspaper (should the entry and the writer be published).

Students must include the teacher’s first and last name on the entry form. There will be a teacher thank-you page in the May 21, 2019, Schools section.

Attach all writing entries to the entry forms with a staple.

Return ALL entries; we will consider every entry UNLESS the word count greatly exceeds the limit noted on the entry form.

Please complete the summary sheet and send it with your students’ entries. The summary sheet will help us make sure that your students’ entries are checked in and that your names will appear on the Teacher Thank You page.

Please remember: The purpose of our contests is to encourage students to share their talents with others. We hope that these contests will fit into your existing writing/instructional program.



Preliminary judges from the Lancaster Lebanon Reading Council read entries. Finalists from each category proceed to the next level of judging. Using rubrics and a point-system, winning entries are judged by a second set of judges from LLRC and by members of the LNP/LancasterOnline newsroom.

Note: Please ask students to count the words in their entries (excluding title). Entries that greatly exceed the word count noted on the individual entry forms will be disqualified.

To view teacher directions, judge’s rubric, entry forms, and examples of previous winning entries, click on the links in the sidebar.



Each registered Design an Ad teacher will receive a packet of student materials including their assigned advertiser in January.

Because local advertisers financially sponsor the Schools section featuring contest winners, they are familiar with Lancaster County schools and teachers. They look forward to receiving student entries.

From these entries, the advertiser will select the first-place winner to represent his/her business in the May 21 section.