Alert Today – Alive Tomorrow
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
- Community at large
The Kushner SADD committee is a group that works to educate the student body and raise awareness about road safety. As many of our students are learning to drive and getting their licenses, we want to ensure that as drivers and passengers they are equipped with all the safety facts and tips, so they can take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and others safe. We specifically worked educating students on their role as a passenger and how they can assist drivers in being safer on the roads.
We worked to educate the students in our school from grades one through twelve. Additionally, we worked for our larger community. Our focus was on passengers in vehicles to ensure we were being relevant to our broader audience.
Our project focused on actively engaging students, using creative campaigns to capture their attention and educate them on road safety, specifically their role as the passenger in a car. We used multiple techniques to get our message across, which included: multiple social media platforms, bringing in speakers, hanging up flyers, designing sweatshirts that spread our message, having an article in the local newspaper, sending out a student written article and running activities with younger kids. We focused on wearing a seatbelt, ensuring the driver is sober, driving at the speed limit, having a designated texter and keeping a low voice tone to prevent startling the driver.
We worked as a team by having weekly meetings that had sign-in-sheets, where we discussed our progress and plans for the future. We organized ourselves based off of our talents into a design/production team, communications team, and activities team. Each team has an appointed lead, to ensure that we are also building the leadership skills of our members.
We would plan and discuss each project as a team. Then work between meetings on our group specific tasks that would all come together as we executed that particular deliverable. After school became virtual, we kept our smaller team focus within the larger united committee structure by continuing meetings over virtual platforms and keeping in contact through our group chat. The expectations of each group changed during the transition to virtual school; with our focus changing to more digital campaigns. This motivated each student even more to make our project successful within our new world.
We had to focus our team brainstorming sessions, coming together with our different perspectives to ensure we were being as creative as possible to still catch the attention of our broad audience who were now being overwhelmed with other digital input.
Use of Resources:
We used our local newspaper, who published an article about our committee and spread awareness about our project and message about road safety. We found multiple outside guest speakers to share their stories with our students. These guest speakers ranged from an accident survivor, representative from the Brain Injury Alliance, a local safe driving activist (“slow-down and move over”), to a former Miss New Jersey well known for her road safety campaigns.
Use of Media:
We created a consistent presence on multiple social media platforms. This helped us share a continuous flow of messages increasing awareness by posting safety facts and encouraged viewers to tag a friend on our posts in order for us to reach a greater audience. Over this academic year, we posted 22 times, balancing a consistent message without over communicating.
We also leveraged video on multiple platforms. With our SADD committee each sending a short video of them sharing a safety fact. This was compiled into a longer video for our school’s daily announcements. Three shorter edits were created of this footage which we posted Instagram. We tried to share safety facts in a fun and captivating way.
Internet and Printed Media
As a token of personal commitment, we sent out the link for students to pledge that they commit to sharing the road with others, including motorcycles.
One of our committee members wrote an article about speeding, which was distributed to all the students.
A newspaper article was printed about our Committee, quoting a committee member while spreading our message of safe driving to the broader community.
Our project chose to focus on the passenger ensuring that everyone realizes they have a role to play in safe driving and not just the driver. We conducted research to understand common teen safety tips that were easy to implement and relevant to our audience group. With teen drivers being a very high risk driver group, we felt that targeted passengers would assist in creating a more safety conscious community beyond just the driver. We targeted common causes of teen driver accidents and ensured that we positioned these from the perspective of the passenger and driver.
This resulted in our focus being on:
1. Wearing a seatbelt,
2. Ensuring the driver is sober,
3. Driving at the speed limit,
4. Having a designated texter
5. Keeping a low tone to prevent startling the driver
We measured the change and impact through tracking the views of our videos and the likes of our social media to help us improve future posts.
Using an online survey, we directly gather feedback from our high school student body. This survey targets questions about how they have been impacted by our committee and what precautions they are more likely to implement when on the road now.
Our project was a long-term, full academic year project using multiple techniques to continuously engage our audience throughout the year. By having multiple elements (example, digital, print, live speakers and visual media) continuously sharing our key repeated messages, we were able to ensure that our safety tips continued to be shared over the entire year in multiple formats. This repetition of our messages in multiple ways made our safety tips more memorable.
Further, by having multiple speakers share their stories, often emotional, our audience was able to link our key messages to true life experiences, ensuring even more long-term learning.
Our followers on social media will continue to see our posts, ensuring that from year to year, we create continuity in the efforts of the SADD committee. Also, even graduating seniors would see our posts after entering university
Unexpected Lessons Learned:
We learned multiple lessons from our project, the most valuable included:
When trying to get people’s attention, it is best to use emotional appeal and modern technology appropriate to all groups within your audience to keep them engaged and focused. This may mean you have to repeat your message in multiple ways. For Example we used a coloring in handout, Bingo Sheet, Instagram and Facebook post all to share similar messages, yet targeting different age groups in our audience.
Students, especially teens, are unaware, or just don’t contemplate the possible repercussions of their reckless decisions. They also believe false facts shared with them by a friend who is a negative influence. Breaking through these mindsets is critical to success.
We were most successful when we divided our committee into the three groups each with a distinct focus – this meant we could spread our resources well across the project
Having a long-term integrated plan will help you be successful. This ensures your messaging is consistent and timed purposely to have the most impact
- Sweatshirts: $500
- Guest speakers: $250