Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) recently put together a proposal called Project D3. They received a $2,000 grant from the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) through State Farm Insurance Companies Foundation to continue with Project Ignition.
"Project Ignition is a program designed to help students develop a public awareness campaign which focuses on teen driver safety by targeting peers and the community," Principal Jeff Bell said. "We are very honored to be one of 25 selected programs in the country, for this prestigious award."
Project D3, the title of CCHS Project Ignition submission, will address the topics of drunk driving, drowsy driving and distracted driving.
"There were over 600 applicants," Public Affairs Specialist for State Farm Insurance Ed Perez said. "To be selected is a big deal."
During the check presentation Tuesday, members of the CCHS SADD chapter read letters from selected Clay City Elementary students urging the older students to drive responsibly.
SADD students are also planning to stage a mock drunk driving arrest, hold a blood drive, a contest to design a logo for the project which will then be placed on the yearly SADD T-shirt and a march to the county courthouse to hand out informational flyers.
Teachers are also getting involved by taking a day to address the dangers of impaired driving in their individual classrooms.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. In 2007, more than 6,982 young people (ages 15-20) were killed in motor vehicle accidents, including 177 in Indiana. The project will give the students the chance to lower those numbers.
"This gives us the opportunity to promote the message to students and the community," SADD representative Troy Schmitt said.
Of the 25 schools selected, 10 will be chosen as finalists in February 2010, and will have the opportunity to present their campaigns at the 21st National Service Learning Conference in San Jose, Calif., March 24-27, 2010. At that time, one school will be chosen as a "Best of the Best," and awarded a $10,000 grant from the NYLC to continue the project.
SADD's co-sponsor Scott Stucky believes the project will have an impact on the students, just because of the work that will be done.
"This is a privilege," he said. "This is something we believe in and take it to heart."