MHS wins statewide seatbelt challenge
Middlesex High School and Forest Middle School in Bedford County are the statewide winners of the 2013 “Save Your Tail-Gate, Buckle Up” (SYT) campaign sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO), the Virginia State Police Association, and the Allstate Foundation.
Middlesex placed first in the high school division and Forest placed first in the middle school division.
As the statewide winner among high schools, Middlesex High will receive a school-wide celebration with free food, music, prizes and games. Forest will receive $500, a banner and plaque for its first place win among middle schools.
All prizes for the “Save Your Tail-Gate” campaign were funded by a $10,000 grant from the Allstate Foundation. The grant also funded additional campaign materials.
“The Allstate Foundation supports programs that have the best potential for improving the lives of youth in our local communities,” said Shelva Clemons, Allstate Foundation spokesperson. “The ‘Save Your Tail-Gate, Buckle Up” campaign is one of those programs. This grant allows us to give back in a manner that reflects our commitment to the community.”
Fifty-eight schools participated in the annual campaign that ran from September 16 to October 11. Winners were selected based on the quality and effectiveness of their campaign, including the impact of 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 10 percent, based on pre and post seat-belt checks at each school. At first-place Middlesex High, seat belt use increased 8%—from 80% during the pre-survey to 88% in the final survey.
“The goal of the campaign is to make buckling up a habit for everyone,” said Sarah Watson, YOVASO Program Development Coordinator.