CHICAGO - For the third straight year, Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana schools can enter an essay contest for a chance to bring the annual Chicago Cubs Caravan to their community. The Cubs Caravan Visits My School Contest will reward one enthusiastic school with a visit from Chicago Cubs players, coaches and front office leadership on the morning of Jan. 16, 2013.

The annual Cubs Caravan is a two-day excursion of Cubs players and coaches to schools, neighborhoods and communities throughout Illinois and Northwest Indiana. The 2012 Cubs Caravan visited seven schools, two hospitals, a police station, a library, the USO of Illinois at the Great Lakes Naval Academy and a luncheon benefiting Chicago Cubs Charities.

Teachers or principals are encouraged to team up with their students to submit an essay of 400 words or less in support of their school as a Cubs Caravan destination. Consideration will be given to schools that show knowledge and passion for the Chicago Cubs and promote health and fitness throughout the school year. Entrants can visit www.cubs.com for official rules and an entry form. The entry period is open now and ends Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at 8 p.m. CST. Schools must be located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake or McHenry counties in Illinois, or Lake or Porter counties in Indiana.

The winner of the 2012 Cubs Caravan Visits My School Contest was Ernst Prussing Elementary School. Ernst Prussing (4650 N. Menard Ave., Chicago, IL) was selected as the winner of a Cubs Caravan visit last year because of the school's enthusiasm and inclusion of Chicago Cubs baseball into its curriculum. The faculty integrated the team's schedule and statistics into classroom assignments, including geography lessons based on the team's away games, math problems using player earned run averages and winning percentages, and writing assignments that include drafting player biographies. The school participated in a walk-a-thon to support Juvenile Diabetes research-a cause beloved by Cubs Hall of Famer Ron Santo.

To enter the 2013 Cubs Caravan Visits My School Contest and to review official rules, visit https://secure.mlb.com/chc/community/caravan_contest.jsp.