FCCLA stresses traffic safety with grant
WINTERSVILLE — A $1,000 grant has enabled the Indian Creek High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America to highlight the importance of traffic safety.
The 20-member student organization received the Family Acting for Community Traffic Safety grant in January and capped off their promotion on Wednesday by partnering with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and TEAM Automotive Collision Center to educate more than 100 students aged 16-18 on the FACTS curriculum. About 119 high school students completed a FACTS Traffic Safety Survey last month and ranked driver or passenger distractions such as changing the radio to speeding, plus they remarked on maintaining vehicles to driving in inclement weather and construction.
“There were identified areas if they were in an unsafe situation and what they would do or say,” co-advisor Julie Robinson explained, saying the responses were the focus of the event.
She and co-advisor Jennifer Belt led the program in the school gym during Flex time which included safety stations using the FACTS curriculum.
The crowd also participated in a driving scenario and question-and-answer session with Trooper Greg Scalley of the Wintersville Post of the OSHP, while the scene incorporated too many passengers in a car with a bevy of distractions that could lead to an accident.
“We’re here to teach kids about passenger safety, the rules and laws of juvenile drivers,” Scalley said. “Distracted driving is the No. 1 killer of teen drivers.”
He cited cell phones, radios and too many people in the vehicles as the main sources.
“When you have other kids in the vehicle, you get distracted and do things you don’t normally do when driving,” he added.
Scalley praised the school program, saying it was very helpful for juveniles to learn the rules of the road.
“This teaches kids to stand up for themselves and to be in control of the vehicle. Indian Creek has its own program, which is great. Not many schools have programs to teach about driver safety.”
Robinson posed survey questions on what the students learned during the program, while Corey Jackson and Cody Minor, estimators for TEAM Automotive Collision Center, presented prizes for six students who completed the Ford Driving Skills for Life, an online program including videos. Officials said it was imperative for students to understand aspects of traffic safety, particularly if they are just beginning to drive.
“I have a kid myself who is 16 and it’s important to have things like this,” said Jackson. “It’s stuff I’d stress to my own kid.”
Meanwhile, more hands-on vehicle, bicycle and ATV-related activities are being planned for May.
The traffic safety program was one component of FCCLA Week celebrations in late January, where members recognized the theme, “Beyond Measure.” The group also made daily announcements; organized an interactive bulletin board; promoted career technical education pathways at the school, including Information Technology, Interactive Media, Business and Administrative Services, Engineering and Science Technologies and Career-Based Intervention with the addition of Career and Individual Development under the Family Consumer Sciences program; taking part in LEAD 4 CHANGE by identifying issues and implementing programs such as food drives, career fairs and a virtual run4red walk.