Mind on the Road Hands on the Wheel

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

Clearly state the objective of your project. 

The objective of our campaign was to promote safe driving in our school and community.  We specifically aimed our campaign at our newest drivers and worked to educate them about the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of making safe choices. Our main goal was to eliminate distractions within the car for drivers.

Describe your project and its implementation. 

Our project had many aspects that we have completed, are ongoing, and will be happening in the future.  We have held tables at the lunches where students answer trivia questions, sign our safe-driving pledge, and engage with our members to learn about safe driving tactics. We hve launched a social media campaign where students post with the hashtag #mindontheroadhandsonthewheel as well as hosted a raffle for those who make each post. Additionally, we have created a custom bumper magnet that we are selling to staff and students with the goal of getting every car in the parking lot to have a bumper magnet with our initiative pledge on it. Additionally, we are selling the bumper magnets at local businesses. All proceeds from the sales will go to EndDD.org. We have worked with our elementary schools to put student-made coloring pages about the importance of being a safe passenger in the Friday folders. Additionally, our students will be putting on an assembly for the students of Monmouth Junction Elementary School later this month to do skits about how to drive safely. Our students also held a movie night where attendees signed a safe driving pledge, participated in driver-safety themed trivia and could win prizes for their knowledge. Proceeds from this event will be donated to EndDD.org. During this movie night fundraiser, we collaborated with the South Brunswick High School history club to create a mini museum on the history of driver safety throughout the United States. We are also working with the township to display a billboard urging drivers to keep their “Mind on the road, hands on the wheel” on a busy local highway – Route 1. Our campaign also collaborated with the school activities director to include safe driving and safe passenger tips in the prom packets that every student attending prom receives when purchasing tickets.

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) 

We connected with the local police department to have an officer come speak to our club members about safe driving and local driving statistics and laws. He brought the impaired driving goggles for students to use to understand the dangers of driving impaired. We have 8 elementary schools that we have reached out to to provide coloring pages to the students in the Friday folders. Our students will be performing skits about being a safe passenger at one of the local elementary schools. We have a billboard for our initiative on Rt. 1 to advertise our program and to drive safely. We have reached out to local news outlets, such as the South Brunswick Patch, to write articles about our campaign. We presented our campaign at the Board of Education meeting on April 25th where the board and all attending/viewing members of the community were invited to take our safe driving pledge and shown our current campaign work and PSA video. Our instagram page has been engaging in “Tip Tuesday” and “Stat Saturday” since January where we post a safe driving or safe passenger tip on Tuesdays and a driving safety statistic on Saturdays. Students designed bumper magnets that will be sold at local businesses, to students and to staff with proceeds going to EndDD.org. Students designed posters that have been hung at the local library and car dealerships. We hosted lunch tables every Friday where students engaged in safe driving trivia, social media posts with our hashtag, and signed a safe driving pledge. We hosted a movie night fundraiser on April 30th where students’ ticket sales went to EndDD.org and students were educated on safe driving via trivia, and a mini history museum, and signed a safe driving pledge. Our PSA has been aired on our school morning announcements (streamed on YouTube) every day since March. SB Helping Hands club also hosted a distracted-driving related meeting where students made Instagram Reels on driver and passenger safety to be posted on our Instagram account.

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, SB Helping Hands, has been running this campaign on our own in representation of South Brunswick High School and has been doing so for the past 3 years. Our 10 executive board members have planned and implemented the whole campaign with assisstance from volunteers from our club, the community, and staff and student body. We have collaborated with the video production class, VTN, to air our campaign PSA and information daily on the school announcements – which are also available to the public via YouTube. We also collaborated with the township to have a billboard posted on Rt. 1 which was designed by one of our students. Our bumper magnets were also student-designed as well as our posters that are displayed around the community. Our PSA was directed, conceptualized, and filmed completely by our student executive board. We also collaborated with the SBHS history club to create and present a mini history museum at our fundraiser on driving safety history in the USA. Our club members also designed the coloring pages which are being sent out to the local elementary schools in the Friday folders as well as wrote and directed the skits that will be performed at one of the local elementary schools on May 20th. Our hashtag and project name and logo were also created by the students.

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). 

Our teamwork is best shown through sign in sheets at our meetings, lunch tables, and events.  We also have our executive board take pictures at all events, campaign fundraisers, student club meetings, etc.  Additionally, we worked with our club members to record reels to be posted on our Instagram under the hashtag #mindontheroadhandsonthewheel

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

We collaborated with the South Brunswick Police Department to get statistics about what the most important issues are in our town in regards to safe driving and distracted driving.  We used statistics from NJM about distracted driving by teenagers specifically in addition to facts from the NJ MVC, EndDD.org, Forbes, etc. to create informational trivia, posters, Instagram posts, and Instagram reels to engage with students.

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

We reached out to local newspapers to publish articles on their websites about our campaign, such as the South Brunswick Patch. Additionally, we have had a consistent social media presence with Tip Tuesdays and Stat Saturdays that push out information to the general public and our students on Instagram.  Through our club members, we have also recorded dozens of Instagram reels to be utilized by our social media page.  Our PSA has aired on the morning announcements every day since March and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the year.  We have utilized poster/fliers in the public library and at local car dealerships to call for people to follow our campaign and pledge to be a safe driver. We are selling bumper magnets to local businesses and presented at the Board of Education meeting which is streamed to all South Brunswick residents on the community channel and via the township website. Our PSA is also available to the public on YouTube via the Viking Television Network channel which airs and logs the video announcements daily. We have also collaborated with the township to display a billboard on Rt. 1. Our campaign and events have also been displayed in the weekly distric newsletters.

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

We have utilized interviews with students at our lunch tables to gauge knowledge of distracted driving.  Additionally, students have participated in trivia style games at the lunch tables every Friday as well as at the events we have hosted and we have collected the names and school ID numbers of every student that has posted about our campaign on social media. We have also collected signatures and digital safe driving pledges from the student body and staff. We plan to, as we have in the past 2 years’ campaigns, collaborate with the Drivers Ed program to show a presentation at the end of May to drivers ed and/or health classes that includes a pre and post-assessment Google form accompanied by an informational presentation to gauge student learning. We also gave an informational presentation at our movie night fundraiser which was accompanied by a kahoot-style trivia game which helped us to gauge student learning as well.

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

This is now our third year of the campaign, and through our continued participation in the program, we have gained a following in our school and community.  The Friday folder coloring pages will allow our youngest learners to become safer passengers and being a safe passenger will likely lead to being a safe driver.  Additionally, our bumper magnets will be on cars driving around our school and community and will bring more attention to the significance and importance of being a safe driver. We have been able to engage with members of the school board to facilitate an ongoing relationship with the district as well as the township at large to continue promoting our campaign beyond the end of the school year and will continue our sales of bumper magnets and social media campaign into the summer.

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

Throughout this process, the biggest surprise has been how unaware students are of the risks and dangers of distracted driving – especially the distractions that exist for them within their own vehicles.  Particularly when completing our trivia at our movie night, many students were shocked by the statistics about teenagers being the most likely to be involved in a crash related to distracted driving, the percentage of fatalities involved with distracted driving, and that eating while driving is often more dangerous than texting. We have also been able to strengthen our bonds and relationships not only with the student body and amongst our club members but also with district staff and personnel – such as the mayor – whom we likely would not have been able to forge such relationships otherwise.

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

Bumper Magnets $400
Movie Night Fundraiser Supplies & Food $170
Bus Transportation to Showcase $480
Materials at lunch tables & raffle prizes $220
Total $1270


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