Bethlehem, PA, Oct. 18, 2012 – National Teen Driver Safety Week is a time to honor those who actively support teens as they learn to drive safely and get ready for the road ahead.
Today, State Farm recognized Freedom High School in Bethlehem as one of 14 schools across the U.S. and Canada that were key supporters of the Celebrate My Drive initiative in September. The school was presented with a $100,000 grant at the high school this morning during a student assembly attended by the senior class.
Across North America on September 15th, high school officials, safety advocates, local law enforcement, and government leaders joined with more than 1,400 State Farm agents and tens of thousands of teens and their parents for a celebration of this year's class of new teen drivers. State Farm is taking a different approach to teen driving safety by sharing positive driving habits and experiences rather than some of the more traditional approaches that often scare new drivers.
The company celebrated new drivers at more than 400 Celebrate My Drive events organized in communities large and small – making it North America's largest-ever simultaneous gathering of new teen drivers. As part of this program, State Farm awarded 14 participating schools each a grant of $100,000. The winning schools were chosen based on an online voting process that took place during the six days leading up to September 15. Schools will use the grants to fund key safety or other essential projects at the school.
“We are thankful to Freedom High School and everyone who came together in September to help rally communities around new drivers,” said Marcia Thompkins, State Farm Northeast Public Affairs Field Manager. “Sharing these positive experiences and helping to keep them safe as they explore the road ahead builds stronger communities.”
The grant will be utilized by Freedom High School's SADD (Students against Distracted Driving) chapter to develop and expand a Bethlehem area school district supported program called “Project S.O.S. (Students Own Safety). The program incorporates creative, innovative, and fun ideas that encourage students at all levels energized to care about both their own safety and the safety of others. “We are extremely honored to receive the State Farm "Celebrate My Drive" grant, “said Jennifer Wescoe, Freedom High School teacher and SADD advisor. “This provides an opportunity to bring our entirely student-generated idea, "Project S.O.S. (Students Own Safety)" to life. This project will not only benefit Freedom High School but all of the students in the Bethlehem Area School District."
State Farm and Freedom High School have a long standing partnership in promoting the message of safe driving and safe teen driving behavior. In 2011, Freedom High School was recognized as a Leader school for their participation in the insurance company's Project Ignition program with Freedom's "Project TTYL: (Talk/Text to ya later!) So You Can Arrive Alive!” campaign.
In addition to the fourteen $100K grants, State Farm also awarded fourteen teen drivers, who attended one of the Celebrate My Drive events, a new 2013 Chevy Sonic. For a complete list of all winners, go to www.celebratemydrive.com.
Dave Phillips, Public Affairs Specialist, (610) 358-7667.
National Teen Driver Safety Week is observed the third week of October, to bring attention to the number one killer of American teens, car crashes. During this week we encourage parents, young drivers, lawmakers and educators to focus on working together to change risky teen driving behaviors and help save lives. As a result of their combined goal of reducing injury and death from teen crashes, State Farm® and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia® teamed up in 2007 to support a Congressional resolution designating National Teen Driver Safety Week. Working together with many valued safety organizations, we continue to provide leadership and advocacy around this tragedy.
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.