Stay Alert, Stay Alive
How many students heard the message?
Estimated percentage of your student body?
Who has your project aimed to reach?
- Freshman class
- Sophomore class
- Junior class
- Senior class
- School professionals
- Community at large
We are committed to educating and reforming our school and community on the subject of driver safety as we seek to establish a healthy practice of community activism when something needs to be changed.
The objective of the Matawan Aberdeen SADD Chapter for the 2019 – 2020 school year was to bring awareness to driver safety. We worked to bring this idea to the students, teachers, and parents of the school, as well as the surrounding community.
In an effort to create an effective radius of safety for our school, the club turned their efforts to the community. Our first stage was to continue educating the students of MRHS on driver/passenger safety. Our second stage was to reduce the number of accidents at dismissal by getting a police officer to direct traffic for safety. Lastly, the club worked closely with the Aberdeen Police Department to establish a stop sign on a close-to-high school street that desperately needed one.
The SADD club not only worked as an internal team, we reached out to the other clubs at MRHS to collaborate in sending our message. This included running an art contest for posters to be displayed at local businesses, working with the civic leaders and video club to produce a PSA, working with student council to get our message heard at all of their events, and even working with the faculty to help spread our message.
Use of Resources:
When using resources, the club spared no ounce of effort in doing all they could. They reached out to State Farm for assembly programs, the Aberdeen Police Department for guidance and statistics for both the parking lot and potential stop sign, members of the community for their input and cooperation, faculty and staff for their knowledge and expertise, Donna Setaro for a riveting assembly on the neglected Move Over Law, local businesses for their patronage and promotions, and all of the local MRHS clubs for mutual support of our plans for the community.
Use of Media:
As the club realized the power social media has in spreading its message, the Matawan Aberdeen SADD Chapter petitioned, but never received permission to have an official Twitter. To this, the members took initiative and reached out to our official school Twitter’s account holder and had them put up our message. This is the same account that forwarded the official UGotBrains social media posts. We also took advantage of our Husky TV and Radio station as well as our online and print newspaper. Additionally, we used our advisor’s youtube account to post and disseminate our PSA after it had already aired on our local cable TV station (channel 15).
Our SADD members looked at this project as a 3-pronged plan. Firstly, they wanted to educate our students and staff on driver safety. This was accomplished through assemblies, social media tweets, daily facts in our morning announcements, bulletin boards, and “ads” in our school media avenues. Secondly, they wanted to reduce the number of accidents at dismissal. Thirdly, they wanted to prevent accidents in the community which is why they petitioned for a stop sign at a dangerous intersection.
Unfortunately due to the pandemic, we were not able to follow up on our plans for post project surveys, including a parking lot survey when the new officer began directing traffic and when the new stop sign was going to go up. However, in doing such projects, the club learned valuable skills in organizing, leadership, and communication, as well as how to logistically plan for the future, all encompassed in the goal of producing a safer community for students, parents, and the Matawan-Aberdeen population. Once the stop sign is placed, it will help to protect drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and the surrounding residents. Once the officer begins directing traffic, the roads near the school and a bit farther will experience a healthier kind of traffic, in place of the current hectic one the school and community have become far too familiar with.
We did succeed in getting a police officer at dismissal and our presentation to the council for a stop sign down the street is ready to go as soon as the meetings become open to the public. Although we will not personally see the stop sign this year, we are almost sure that it will get approved and will keep our community safe for many years to come. Our students, faculty, and community will certainly see a decrease in accidents at dismissal since there will be a professional directing the traffic out of the school parking lot at a very busy time of day.
Unexpected Lessons Learned:
We learned several unexpected lessons:
1. After following the proper channels to get our social media account approved and waiting for months, our group decided to find other ways to get our message out there. We learned that is important to have a back-up plan and that sometimes we’ll need to think outside the box to accomplish a goal.
2. We learned that even though people have the best intentions, sometimes life throws us a curveball. That doesn’t mean that hard work goes to waste, but instead it will pave the road for years to come. We were saddened by the year being cut short due to the global pandemic, but we have left behind a small legacy for the SADD members next year. All of our work will give them a valuable start. We have Brian Petrocelli confirmed for an assembly in September to kick off the year. Additionally, although it is not properly finished, the TV Club has all of the raw PSA footage and script. They will be able to complete the full PSA as soon as school is in session again and they will have a full year to run it- saving them the time or pre-planning and organizing next year.
- T-shirts: $200
- Posters: $50
- Busing: $550