Don’t Text and Drive, Bordentown Wants You Alive: Community Outreach and Impact

How many students heard the message of your project?

Estimated percentage of your student body?

Who has your project aimed to reach?
Freshman class| Sophomore class| Junior class| Senior class| School professionals| Parents| Community at large| Other NJ Driving Schools, Police Departments, Teen Drivers Across US

Clearly state the objective of your project. 

Through Don’t Text and Drive, Bordentown Wants You Alive (DTXTD), students will make the roads a safer place for drivers by encouraging the public to eliminate distracted driving. DTXTD spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving through four projects. Surveys, photos, videos, and testimonials from past members were used to measure the impact of these projects.

Describe your project and its implementation. 

Don’t Text and Drive, Bordentown Wants You Alive Club (DTXTD) completed four projects in the 2024 school year: a Keychain Distribution, Windshield Checklist, Awareness Bracelet Distribution, and a Pledge Day.

Project #1-On Oct. 31, DTXTD teamed up with the Bordentown Police Department to distribute key chains and Halloween safety tips as a reminder to cut out distracted driving.

Project #2-In December, DTXTD launched it’s main project, a Windshield Decal Checklist. The target of this project was all BRHS teen drivers, teen drivers across the country, various NJ driving schools, police departments and college/universities. This decal was mailed to those populations. Decals were also sent to BIANJ and NJM who also attended the Jan.9 meeting.

Project #3-On Feb. 14, DTXTD teamed up with the NJM Insurance Company to distribute awareness bracelets which stated: Just Drive. All students were given a bracelet and valentine treat.

Project #4-On April 10, DTXTD hosted a Pledge Day in which over 500 students and staff pledged to cut out distracted driving.

Side Note: DTXTD was involved in much more. On Sept. 20 NJM presented: Just Drive.  DTXTD alumni provided testimonials on the importance of this club and its participation in the Champion School program. DTXTD’s Instagram account (@xthetextbrhs) spread awareness against distracted driving. Surveys at community events collected data to gauge the club’s impact on the community. Signed pledges and club flyers decorated the school walls down every hallway. Free Don’t Text and Drive merchandise was distributed to the school community such as: air fresheners, Croc Charms and decals for vehicles. A PSA script and video were created for social media and broadcasted by the radio station 92.5 XTU.

School/Community Engagement: 
How did you reach your student body and the community? (examples: connecting with nearby colleges, schools, local police departments, persons affected by teen crashes, local/county/state governments, and local businesses) 

Community Outreach was one of the main themes this year.  Our goal was to impact numerous populations with our projects.  Our main project, the windshield checklist decal, was aimed to reach teen drivers, parents of teen drivers, police departments, NJ driving schools, community members and local businesses.  Our members created a letter (see slide #5) that explained our decal’s initiative.  This letter was sent out to the populations listed above along with decals. In return, the populations would send back a picture or video that documented them actively using the decals in their vehicles.  The picture or video was how we tracked community engagement.  Many companies, police officers and schools requested more decals as the year progressed.

What makes your project unique and engaging? How did you engage with other student groups to creatively spread your message? (Examples: create artwork, music, plays, unique campaign slogan/logos) 

Our club members are enthusiastic, motivated and determined to make the roads a safer place.  Throughout the power point, you can see our students’ creativity through our windshield decal, our Valentine posters, our Croc Charms, Car Air Fresheners, Car decals and keychains.  This merchandise was a huge hit with our BRHS students.  We also created Public Service Announcement for the Windshield Checklist.  This PSA was submitted to the radio station XTU 92.5.  Students also created a teen driver survey and parent teen driver survey.  These surveys were available to complete at our three community events.  We had a Don’t Text and Drive table set up at our Winter Sports Opening Night, our Elective Fair and Wellness Fair.  (All completed after school hours)

Show how you worked as a team in designing and implementing your project (examples: sign-in sheets at meetings, photos of the group working on tasks). 

Teamwork played an integral role in DTXTD. Meetings were held twice a month for two hours. The focus was to concentrate on growing projects outside of Bordentown. In order for DTXTD to be successful, the help of students, community members, police officers, administration, sponsors and driving schools was needed. Teamwork is featured in all of the pictures throughout this presentation.  We also have three designated Officers of the club.  The officers are responsible for sign-in sheets, school announcements, recording minutes of meetings, leading discussions, controlling Instagram account and encouraging participation amongst members.

Use of Research/Data: 
Show how you used local resources to help identify, deliver, assess, and present your project (Examples: local/statewide/national data.). 

The data we collected from our surveys will help us address additional teen driver concerns for next year.  For example, from our collected data, we need to address teen drivers sticking to the speed limit.  We also need to talk about seatbelt safety.  These surveys laid down the framework for next year’s projects.

Use of Media: 
Document how you used media in your project (examples: local radio, TV, newspapers, social media, websites, video, PSAs). 

Immediately students wanted to spread the word about the dangers of texting while driving not only within the Bordentown Community but to the entire driving population.  Club members decided to create a Public Service Announcement for the radio station 92.5 XTU.  The PSA is currently being approved by XTU’s Traffic Safety Department.  In addition to the radio PSA,  students continued to use the club’s Instagram Account: @xthetextbrhs.  Through this platform, word of these four projects were spread to our students, teachers and community members. Instagram posts grew our campaign in popularity.

Evaluation and Impact: 
Describe how you measured the impact of your project (examples: pre/post observational studies, surveys, quizzes, interviews, etc.)   

Two resources were used to measure DTXTD’s impact this school year: research surveys and windshield decals. Research results were gathered from the Teen Driver Survey and from the Parent/Guardian Survey. 96.6% of students who took the survey believed having a Don’t Text and Drive club was essential for schools. From these results teen drivers about distracted driving, seatbelt use, and speed limits were better served.

The Windshield Checklist Decal was a proud accomplishment for DTXTD.  The decals were to be placed in the top left corner of a vehicle’s windshield.  The mission was to send decals to teen drivers across the country, to NJ driving schools, to parents/guardians of teen drivers, and to police officers. Drivers in seventeen U.S. states, ten NJ driving schools, four NJ police departments and all student drivers at BRHS received this decal.  The impact was tracked through pictures and videos of these populations using our windshield decals.

How will your project have a lasting effect on your target group? 

Don’t Text and Drive, Bordentown Wants You Alive has grown to become one of the most popular extracurricular activities offered at BRHS with over 50 active members in grades 9-12. The club is open to everyone!  These students want to make a difference and put a stop to distracted driving.  Their creativity, talent and intelligence is palpable in all four projects.  Students are already discussing projects for next year.  Their excitement and ideas will be around for many years at Bordentown Regional High School.

Unexpected Lessons Learned:
Describe any unintended results that came out of your project. 

Don’t Text and Drive never realized the impact it had on members after they graduated from Bordentown Regional High School. Four former members created videos for current members to view on how the Champion School program and the Don’t Text and Drive positively impacted their lives.  To hear and see Chris, Marissa, Katie and Def express gratitude and praise towards these programs was wonderful.  To hear how it sculpted them to become responsible adults was rewarding.

Stipend Reporting:
Your school received a stipend to support your Champion School Teen Driving Safety Project. Additionally, any funds that you raised as a result of your project must be reinvested into transportation safety. The purpose of this report is to itemize expenditures for your project that were paid from the stipend

Paper for Pledges, Stickers $100.00
Printing – Decals, Croc Charms, Air Fresheners, Car Stickers $600.00
Stamps, Envelopes $200.00
Bussing for Awards Ceremony $100.00
Total  $1,000.00