Stay Alert, Stay Alive
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 (nationally through social media)
The goal of the Stay Alert, Stay Alive campaign is to continue spreading awareness on the issue of getting distracted behind the wheel to our local community and beyond. To do so, Matawan Regional High School SADD has partnered with several groups within our school to solidify our campaign this year. Additionally, we have continued our social media/ internet campaign by partnering with outside national organizations in order to reach beyond our community. Within our community, we have conducted research and begun the process to get a crosswalk near the high school. We have been developing PSA videos that we can disseminate virtually in addition to using our outside resources to provide informative assemblies to our student population.
Our target audience has grown this year. Whereas previously we focused on our district and local community, through our social media campaign we are reaching further to a nationwide audience.
While building on our Labyrinth project from last year and our social media campaign, we also collected data in an effort to make our student body safer on the roads. We added significance to the labyrinth by making part of our classwork. Teachers take the students out for a mindful walk to meditate on making good decisions on the road and to remember all the positive things in their lives. We also initiated a beautification of the labyrinth- likening those positive things to flowers and carried those flowers throughout the year to remind our students and staff about the importance of staying alert behind the wheel. This year, we collaborated not only with the club members, but also the video production class to make a PSA for the MJM Just Drive contest. Winning 2nd place has brought our campaign a lot of attention through articles, MJM’s website, and other social media accounts that play our PSA. Our Social Media campaign is gaining momentum. Last year, we reached out to other organizations asking for retweets and we found this successful. This year, we sought out agencies and campaigns that aligned with our message and jumped in to collaborate on promoting the campaign. On posts where we collaborated with those agencies, we saw staggering increases in our impressions and engagements!After collecting data at intersections near the school, it became apparent that we needed better methods to keep our student body and the community safe, especially at the start of school and at dismissal. We prepared a presentation for our Chief of Police and Traffic Lieutenant. We were successful in convincing Chief Lloyd that an officer directing traffic at the beginning and end of the school day was necessary and he has made it part of the traffic duties. Lunchtime surveys of the student body showed that our students feel much safer coming to and leaving the high school campus with the officers now.
Our next step in the crosswalk is a meeting with the town engineer.
We have worked tirelessly to make our campaign a school-wide activity by broadening our scope and focus. By linking our labyrinth to positivity and flowers, we got an additional 40 volunteers (that weren’t part of any clubs) to plant our “positive flowers” around the school. In the winter, we used cloth flowers to bring that message through the holiday season. In addition, in the spring, the art students painted flowers on the classroom windows as a continuous daily reminder of our “Stay Alert, Stay Alive campaign. “ We continue to work with the school’s Civic Leaders who focus on activism. We’ve incorporated our campaign into classroom curricula such as the video production class making the PSA, health and our mindfulness classes use the labyrinth for reflection, and the digital art classes make our campaign posters. Furthermore, through sign in sheets, we are seeing students that previously didn’t volunteer or belong to any clubs come out to help our campaign when we need it.
Use of resources:
We have an excellent relationship with our local police departments and lean on them for advice, funding, and help with our projects. Specifically this year, we’ve enlisted them to assist in our crosswalk project. Additionally, we have availed ourselves of all that is offered by national campaigns such as those run by All State, NJM, NJ traffic safety, SADD, BIANJ, etc… Through these agencies, we’ve booked assemblies, gotten products, and funding, as well as collaborated with them to amplify our social media campaign. In June, we will be hosting Matthew Maher – a professional soccer player that was involved in a DUI accident that killed a man. After serving his sentence for aggravated manslaughter, Matthew has used his situation to speak about making positive decisions behind the wheel. Without the sponsorship of State Farm, we would never have been able to afford such a dynamic speaker for our students.
Use of media:
We are proud to be expanding our use of media. As always, we have our district tv station and our high school youtube channel, but we have focused heavily on social media and the internet since last year. Last year, we tenuously reached out to other organizations asking for retweets and we found this very successful. This year, we actively sought out agencies and campaigns that aligned with our message and jumped in to collaborate. Our data analysis of these ventures has proven that our reach has significantly increased! Additionally, our district social media accounts have agreed to repost and add to everything we are posting. We had an article written about us in the Patch, a local news organization, that featured our award winning PSA gaining us tons of exposure. Furthermore, our campaign has been featured throughout our district and high school newsletters which are distributed to every parent in the district. Lastly, our collaboration with our local police department has not only benefited us because of their social media accounts, but also the social media accounts of the surrounding towns.
We realize that the biggest obstacle facing teens behind the wheel is distractions so our main focus has been to target distracted driving behaviors, however, that is not the entirety of our project. We have also used our social media to bring awareness to other control factors that could lead to accidents and fatalities. These include but are not limited to pedestrian safety, bicycle safety, and being under the influence.
We continuously use qualitative and quantitative research to collect data throughout the project. We have distributed surveys, collected observational data, and pulled statistics about views and engagements on our social media. We have included graphs and charts in our presentation to demonstrate some of the data we have collected. We will continue to monitor analytics and use that data to prepare for next year’s campaign.
Our labyrinth has been well maintained and is being used not only by the students of the school, but also the community at large. The new partnerships that we are making through our social media campaign are partners that we will continue to work with for years to come. Additionally, we are confident that we will continue to grow our social media impact way beyond our community. Furthermore, our crosswalk project has moved past the first two stages and we are hopeful that the students will have a safe place to cross for years to come.
Unexpected Lessons Learned:
It was purely an accident that we joined our first national social media campaign from Impact Teen Drivers on Twitter. The positive outcome and response was surprising, but we used that information to our advantage. That is how we have increased our reach, impressions, and engagements. Although we are not seeing a huge growth in followers, this taught us how to use the platform successfully to our advantage and how to get our message seen. This taught us that even though we are a small district, our impact on the dangers of distracted driving are anything but small.
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
Busing – $1600
Total – $1600