On Friday, November 9, members of the Prevention Club at Hidden Valley Middle School received the third place award for their participation in the Save Your Tailgate Buckle Up Campaign sponsored by YOVASO (Youth of Virginia Speak Out). But this wasn’t just third place in Roanoke, this was third place in the whole state! YOVASO presented the students with a banner, plaque and even a $100 check. For the Save Your Tailgate Campaign, each school who registered with YOVASO, including Hidden Valley Middle School; was asked to educate others on the sad fact that traffic crashes are the number one killer of teens today and many of the deaths could have been prevented if more teenagers wore their seat belts. Hidden Valley Middle School’s Prevention Club made posters reminding people to buckle up; they gave out prizes at football games and even had people fill out pledge cards that promised they’d wear their seat belts. Every day at lunch, students in the Prevention Club would draw these pledge cards out of a bowl and call the name of whoever had signed the card. Whoever’s name was on the card won a special gift bag filled with goodies!
The Prevention club has two adult sponsors: Tim Hayes who is the coordinator for the Student Assistance Program at Hidden Valley Middle School and Officer Cunningham who is the School Resource Officer. The club is a close-knit group with about 15 members. But as Tim Hayes explained: “the club is actually open so the number of kids can fluctuate from between 12 to 15 members.” When I attended the award ceremony there were about 10 students and each had something to say about their favorite part of the campaign. Some said that making the posters was the best part; some said giving out prizes was their favorite thing, but it was clear that all the students really enjoyed the campaign and the club.
Members of the Prevention Club who were present to receive the award from YOVASO are below:
Lyric Harris, Harleen Singh, Victorie Norman, Courtney Ralston, Andrew Palmer, Nina Cummings, Katie Corfield, Kendrick Blankenship, and Carmelita Mendiola
Tim Hayes, SAP Coordinator and Officer Todd Cunningham, SRO