Drive Sober OR Stay Over!

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 (Student Assistance Counselors in Monmouth County)



The “Drive Sober or Stay Over” program is a comprehensive effort across various school stakeholders, student peer groups, and the community at large. Our main objective is to educate our school and the City of Long Branch on the dangers of driving under the influence of ANY substance. According to NJ Department of Transportation, 36 percent of fatal crashes were due to alcohol impaired driving in 2018. We acknowledge that other drugs, such as nicotine and cannabis, are on the rise in youth and can be just as damaging as alcohol use. We felt that this component of driver safety was timely and relevant for our high school students. Furthermore, we believe that our community is afflicted by more substance-induced car accidents and related incidents. The City of Long Branch is home to miles of beaches, boardwalks, and bars & restaurants where many people are more likely to be use alcohol and drugs before or while driving.

Target Audience:
The target audiences included: Long Branch High Students in 9th to 12th grades, Long Branch High School staff, Monmouth County Student Assistance Counselors, and the City of Long Branch community.

We have a very large school within a large district- four floors in one building and four locations where High School students are located! Our campaign was implemented in all settings and became increasingly visible.


*Every marking period of Driver’s Ed class hosted NJM Insurance Company on their program entitled “What Do You Consider Lethal?”. We also hosted the Brain Injury Alliance over two days for their interactive teen driver safety program. Further, we brought in Donna Setaro, mother of State Trooper Marc Castellano who spoke in an assembly about her son was fatally injured while on duty


*Our Champion School students created their own Safe Driving pledge for all lunch periods, which was translated to all student spoken languages, in addition to promoting the the Jersey Drives pledge contest. Incentive and encouragement to participate was provided by showing the bracelets with our engraved slogan

*We demonstrated what drunk or drugged driving may feel like by use of fatal vision goggles during lunch periods at several points throughout the year. The Student Assistance Counselor visited several classrooms across various content areas and all four district buildings that house High School students.

*Students also learned about the dangers of being under the influence while driving by playing interactive, information wheels purchased with the stipend funds. This was an easy and educational method to hep students learn about blood alcohol content and the Good Samaritan Law

*Our Athletic Director asked the Drug Free club to speak to winter athletes, the largest season with over 250 students! The panelists spoke on various topics, including the dangers of impaired driving and safety tips

*Posters were created by students and displayed ALL over the buildings for increased visibility!


*A small group of our Champion Schools students spoke to the Monmouth County Student Assistance Counselors during a monthly meeting regarding our campaign. This led other professionals in our area to not only learn about our goal, but the wonderful program overall!

*Local PD was also informed of our project (more under “resources”)

Our final project video summary has nearly 60 slides of what our Long Branch High School team has successfully executed!!


We enjoyed working with various school stakeholders in different departments. We already have an additional staff member who wishes to join our amazing team in the future!


We also enjoyed partnering different student bodies together for a common cause. We strongly believe that our project speaks for itself when we say we are a TEAM!! Our school leadership team’s support is also directly pointed to throughout the presentation.

Use of resources: 


*Donna Setaro spoke to our students about the Move Over Law, named after her son who died in the line of duty as a State Trooper

*Kate O’Connor of the Brain Injury Alliance shared her heartfelt story about her brother who later died to a car accident

*NJM Insurance spoke to Driver’s Ed students every marking period for two consecutive days, reaching all sophomore students learning to drive


*Members of the Long Branch Department were made aware of our Champion Schools project. During their outreach, the Police Department made efforts to talk to students about our message!


Our TV Studio teacher is on the Long Branch City Cable Commission. This is discussed more in the next section!


We designated April 14 as a day to promote our campaign “Drive Sober OR Stay Over” during Alcohol Awareness Month. We asked that candles were lit safely on porches as a way to honor those who have died due to alcohol related crashes


*Our students went to local businesses in the West End part of town to promote the NJM pledge in exchange for our custom bracelet and discuss safe driving overall.

Use of media:

*LBCTV is Long Branch, NJ’s Government public access cable channel, which broadcasts on Channel 97 on the COMCAST digital cable TV system. Our “Drive Sober OR Stay Over” campaign has been broadcasted continuously since January 2022. Over 30,000 residents in the City of Long Branch have the opportunity to learn about our message 72 times daily!


*Another large source of media use was on the social media platforms of Instagram and Snapchat. The student’s Teen Pep Instagram account alone has over 500 likes and views! All three accounts have a total of over 400 followers who viewed various posts of what we accomplished as a team between students, staff, and community. Social media was an effective way to engage our population and increase overall awareness of the project.


*We also had an incredibly strong Public Service Announcement that was submitted to the Jersey Drives contest. Although this is our first year in the Champion Schools program, Long Branch High School PSA resulted in 4th place! We plan to launch our incredible PSA during homeroom which nearly 1,600 students will watch now that the contest is concluding


The Student Assistance Counselor’s website link is posted on the district and School Based Youth Services Program page. Students, parents, and community members will visit to learn more about services, programs, and resources. An example of the website promoting awareness about safe driving is included.

Our Student Assistance Counselor learned about the Champion Schools program while hosting New Jersey Manufacturer’s Insurance Company for their routine presentations to Driver’s Ed students. We met with our advisor Kate O’Connor virtually on December 7. The Champion Schools students and staff collaborated on the last day before a long holiday break on December 21, which is a miracle if you ask any educator! We received our stipend check and materials in January and February, respectively. In short, we certainly got a late start on our project. However, we worked so hard and implemented nearly 25 different safe driving programs! We are incredibly honored to be part of this opportunity and accomplish so much in very little time.

Although our Champion Schools campaign was focused on driving sober, we also have included opportunities for students to spread awareness and ways to reduce this problematic driving behavior. According to student research, distracted driving is the number one cause of fatalities and we wanted to be extra thorough in our work! Examples of this are included in posters around school, our very own safe driving pledge (in addition to NJM Insurance), and frequently on all social media accounts.

Since joining Champion Schools in December 2022, we have successfully launched nearly 25 various safe driving programs to our entire school! In just two hours, nearly 130 students took our very own safe driving pledge!


*We will continue to spread our message of “Drive Sober OR Stay Over!” as the school year closes. On May 24, we will host an incredibly powerful program entitled “How to Save a Life” for our senior class. This will be the first time we have done a live program in two years, so we are very excited! This program brings together our Champion School students in an emotionally charged skit with parents and community stakeholders. Our last live program and PSA video from 2019 is included below for reference!


The majority of our stipend fund was chosen to purchase customized silicone bracelets that read “Drive Sober OR Stay Over #LongBranch” in our school colors of green and white. We had limited time to purchase supplies due to delay in joining the Champion Schools program during the month of November and receiving our stipend check in January. Despite these obstacles, we were able to successfully purchase a product that is sustainable and unique to our school. Our students and staff are large supporters of bracelets for promoting various messages, so this bracelet was perfect for our building and community. The bracelets will serve as a continuous reminder of our program for years to come, no matter where the individual bracelet goes!


Looking back, completing our project was so much fun for all of us involved and our entire school community. We know that our activities will continue be spoken about. We will continue to honor our slogan during our senior class pre-prom prevention program called “How to Save a Life” on May 24.


Our student-driven pledge was created with a Google form that easily allows us to track data and duplicate the survey in the future. We also utilized QR codes which allows all parties to take a pledge on their phone or on a school issued Chromebook. In just two hours, nearly 130 students took our very own safe driving pledge!


Online platforms, such as social media and websites, allow the project’s mission to be impactful, leaving our footprint in Long Branch School history!


Our message will continue to be visible throughout all buildings long after the project is complete!

Unexpected Lessons Learned: 
We thoroughly enjoyed our time as a participant of the Champion Schools program! We learned how to meet the needs of various target audiences while also finding creative ways to engage each group. One challenge we encountered was learning how to adapt and be flexible in a busy educational setting. This was especially trying during the ever-changing times of the ongoing pandemic, COVID-19.

Finishing this final project strong means so much to us, as we truly feel we have overcome many obstacles to be successful in our first time as Champion School participants! While we were disappointed to learn we did not place during the PSA contest, it has only made us stronger as a team and drove us to persevere to the end.

*In the future, we hope to hold more activities with parents and pertinent members of City Council. We would also like to go on more field trips to the community!

*Note to selves: Work on project early and often!!! The final project summary took over 24 hours to compile. We are so humbled by what we have done, and it takes time to carefully showcase every detail!

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

Customized slogan bracelets with our school colors; interactive blood alcohol content wheels – $1000

Total – $1000