Teens Address Their Number One Killer – Car Crashes Top Ten Teen – Inspired Safety Campaigns Announced
Bloomington, Illinois. – With motor vehicle crashes the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States, students from schools across the United States have been competing to create the most compelling safe driving communication campaigns aimed at convincing their peers of the dangers of risky behavior behind the wheel.
Today, Project Ignition, sponsored by State Farm® and coordinated by the National Youth Leadership Council®, announced this year’s ten finalist schools. By being selected as top-ten, these schools have earned $5000 to cover a trip to the National Service-Learning Conference in Nashville, Tenn., March 18-21. There they will be an integral part of State Farm’s Second Annual National Teen Driver Safety Summit and will present their projects to students from across the country and around the world. Today’s announcement places these schools in the final round of competition for a $10,000 grant.
Finalists in the fifth year of the program include:
* Bergen County Technical High School – Paramus, N.J.
* Eureka High School – Eureka, Calif.
* Fleming County High School – Flemingsburg, Ky.
* Harry D. Jacobs High School – Algonquin, Ill.
* Medina Valley High School – Castroville, Texas
* New Castle Junior/Senior High School – New Castle, Penn.
* Owen Valley High School – Spencer, Ind.
* Payson High School – Payson, Ariz.
* Polk County High School – Benton, Tenn.
* Three Forks High School – Three Forks, Mont.
Through Project Ignition, teams of students from 50 schools around the country received grants in the fall of 2008 to develop their project. The students were charged to create and implement programs that address the issues facing teen drivers. These topics include seat belt use, speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving. The 2008-2009 Project Ignition campaigns included student created videos, safe driving demonstrations, community outreach programs, on-line social media campaigns, simulated mock crash scenes and public service announcements. The field was narrowed to the top 25, and most recently, the top ten.
The National Youth Leadership Council and State Farm will select a “Best of the Best” program from the 10 Project Ignition finalists. The winner will receive a $10,000 grant and will be encouraged to continue its Project Ignition program efforts. More information on the National Youth Leadership Conference can be found at www.nylc.com/conference.
“Project Ignition embodies the true meaning of service-learning and how teens can have a direct impact not only on the lives of their peers, but also on the community,” said Dr. James Kielsmeier, president of NYLC. “Teen driving behavior and habits are a major factor in teen driving accidents. Project Ignition uses service-learning as a tool for young people to educate themselves and their neighbors on the risks they face every time they get behind the wheel.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 7,000 16-to 20-year-old drivers were involved in fatal crashes in the United States in 2006. The fatality rate for drivers age 16 to 19 years, based on miles driven, is four times that of drivers age 25 to 69 years.
“Project Ignition uses service-learning to help teens create safe-driving programs they believe will impact their peers’ driving behaviors,” said. Kellie Clapper, Assistant Vice President -- Community Relations for State Farm “We are very excited about our second annual National Teen Driver Safety Summit, because it provides a platform for teens to exchange ideas and take what they learn back to their communities. Also, as a company committed to reducing teen car crashes, State Farm is very interested in learning from these remarkable young people.”
Project Ignition applications are now being accepted for the 2009-2010 school year. The deadline is June 30, 2009. For more information visit the Project Ignition Web site at www.sfprojectignition.com.
For questions or more information, contact Vicki Harper, Public Affairs, at (309) 766-9743 or Michael VanKeulen, National Youth Leadership Council at (888) 856-7026.
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