NRV schools recognized in statewide teen seat belt challenge
Three high schools and two middle schools in Montgomery County placed in the top tier of the 2012 “Save Your TAIL-Gate, Buckle Up” campaign sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety, the Virginia State Police Association and the Allstate Foundation.
In the high school division, Christiansburg High School finished fifth. Auburn High School tied for seventh place with Altavista Combined School in Campbell County, and Blacksburg High School rounded out the top 10.
In the middle school division, Auburn Middle School placed second and will receive cash prizes and other rewards. Shawsville Middle School finished fifth.
Schools placing in the top 3 in their division received prizes. The statewide winners, Stuarts Draft High School in Augusta County and Forest Middle School in Bedford County, both won parties. The Allstate Foundation provided an $11,000 grant that helped fund materials and prizes for the statewide campaign.
Fifty-two schools participated in the annual campaign that ran for three weeks from Sept. 24 to Oct. 15. Winners were selected based on the number of seat belt educational and awareness activities, the percentage increase in seat belt use by students, and the percentage of students who signed the pledge to always buckle up. Among the schools that completed the campaign, seat belt use increased an average of 5 percent, according to pre and post seat belt checks at each school. Approximately 51 percent of students at each school signed the pledge to buckle up on every ride.
“The goal of the campaign is to make buckling up a habit for everyone,” said Sarah Watson, YOVASO program development coordinator. “Out of the 83 teen fatalities in Virginia last year, 47 of those teens were not wearing their seat belts. Through our campaigns, YOVASO strives to educate teens about the life-saving benefits of seat belts.”
The participating schools sponsored hundreds of events aimed at increasing seat belt use. Some examples include a buckle-up themed tailgate party, crashed vehicle displays, safety floats in homecoming parades, unique buckle up shirts and posters, and seat belt displays and presentations to elementary schools and other organizations. Members of the school’s YOVASO clubs also sponsored educational programs where they handed out mini footballs, temporary tattoos, light-up key chains, tip cards and other materials imprinted with the buckle up message.
YOVASO is Virginia’s peer-to-peer education and prevention program for teen driver safety. Through YOVASO, teens work to advocate for safer driving among their peers and to develop positive prevention strategies for their schools and communities. The nonprofit organization, which has approximately 111 active school clubs across Virginia, is administered by the Virginia State Police Association and funded through a grant from the Virginia Highway Safety Office. For more information, contact YOVASO at 345-0003 or visit the website at yovaso.net.
– Submitted by Mary King
Top-10 High Schools:
1. Stuarts Draft High School, Augusta County
2. Lord Botetourt High School, Botetourt County
3. Middlesex High School, Middlesex County
4. Turner Ashby High School, Rockingham County
5. Christiansburg High School, Montgomery County
6. Glen Allen High School, Henrico County
6. Jefferson Forest High School, Bedford County
7. Altavista Combined School, Campbell County
7. Auburn High School, Montgomery County
8. Bluestone High School, Mecklenburg County
9. Stafford High School, Stafford County
10. Blacksburg High School, Montgomery County
Top-5 Middle Schools:
- Forest Middle School, Bedford County
- Auburn Middle School, Montgomery County
- Hidden Valley Middle School, Roanoke County
- Gretna Middle School, Pittsylvania County
- Shawsville Middle School, Montgomery County
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