- Sponsorship -

Students Rewarded for Teen Driver Safety Campaign

Jacob North knows of too many people his age killed in car crashes.

“The ones that really hit home are the ones where we have students killed,” said the Lowell High School senior. “Those are things you never forget.”

North and some of his classmates are determined to reduce future tragedies by promoting safe driving in their school. Their Youth Advisory Council recently was given $25,000 by State Farm Insurance as a reward for a driver-safety campaign held this fall.

Lowell was one of 50 larger high schools in America – including just three in Michigan – to win the grant in State Farm’s “Celebrate My Drive” competition. Some 4,000 schools competed nationally for the prize, announced Dec. 9. Two other schools, in Tennessee and Louisiana, won a grand prize of $100,000 and a concert by Kelly Clarkson.

Part of Lowell’s $25,000 grant will go to additional school safe-driving efforts, with the remainder split among arts, athletic and technology programs.Driving simulators helped students experience the sensation of driving while impaired and under various road conditions

Winners were chosen by students, teachers and others casting votes online. The voting took place the week of Oct. 18-26, when Lowell students conducted safe-driving activities in school.

North said community support was crucial to Lowell’s success.

“Lowell is a very united community and very committed to every good cause they can find,” he said.

Teaming Up for Safety

The initiative evolved from Lowell’s partnership with the Youth Advisory Council of the Ionia ISD. That group invited Lowell students to start their own driver-safety program two years ago, said Chaye Klomparens, adviser to the Lowell council. The Ionia and Lowell councils continue to meet monthly.

Lowell’s students have been highly motivated, Klomparens said, and last year presented their program to the National Youth Leadership Conference in Denver, Colo.

To prepare for this fall’s Celebrate My Drive campaign, about 14 students from the Youth Advisory Council and Student Leadership class promoted the campaign at summer events such as the Riverwalk Festival. They continued this fall at football games, the Fallsburg Fall Festival and other events while getting the word out in schools and on Facebook.

For the week of voting, the Lowell and Ionia Youth Advisory Councils organized a statewide safe driving conference in Holland. Lowell students also held an assembly, heard a presentation from a state police trooper, and set up driving simulators on which students could experience what it’s like to drive while impaired.

Lowell students are keenly aware of safe-driving issues, Klomparens said. The area’s country roads and heavy deer population are a concern, she said, as are driving while texting or intoxicated.

Accidents in recent years have claimed the lives of Lowell graduates including Andrea Herrera, 20, who was killed Oct. 10 when police said another vehicle slammed into one driven by her boyfriend. The other driver was charged with two counts of drunken driving causing death.Members of the Lowell Youth Advisory Council and Student Leadership class teamed up to win a $25,000 grant from State Farm for safe-driving efforts

“In our school the issue of safe driving is really important,” Jacob North said. “We wanted to really make our school an example of safe teen driving. Hopefully if other schools can see what we’re doing, we can have an impact there, too.”

CONNECT

State Farm Celebrate My Drive

- Sponsorship -
Charles Honey
Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio or email Charles.

LATEST ARTICLES

The year of learning differently

SNN asked a sampling of students from across the county how it’s going for them so far in a school year of multiple instruction models...

‘I want it to look happy’

With help from generous donors, elementary teachers worked to make welcoming, kid-friendly space while following the rules of social distancing and sanitation...

New VP says ‘It feels like joining a family’

Aaron Romoslawski is the new vice principal of Sparta High School. He takes over for Stacey Rumsey, who was named Sparta High School principal last spring...

The changing of guard – as long-time educator and AD welcomes a new one

Godwin Heights Football Coach Brandon Kimble will take over as the district’s athletic director when Robert Hisey, dean of students and athletic director, officially retires Nov. 2...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

The year of learning differently

SNN asked a sampling of students from across the county how it’s going for them so far in a school year of multiple instruction models...

District conducts contact tracing after high school student tests positive for COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, Lowell Area Schools received notification from the Kent County Health Department that a student enrolled at Lowell High School had tested positive for COVID-19...

Education ‘a family thing’ for new interim superintendent

Nate Fowler is the new interim superintendent for the 2020-2021 school year at Lowell Area Schools. School News Network sat down with the lifelong educator to get to know him better in this edition of Meet Your Administrators...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS