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Safe Driving Commitments Could Earn School Cash

By David Howell

WATER VALLEY – After coming up short last year in a safe driving contest sponsored by State Farm encouraging kids not to text and drive, it’s time for a second shot.
     During the week of October 15-24, community members are encouraged to make safe driving commitments on behalf of Water Valley High School in State Farm’s “Celebrate My Drive” contest. The more commitments made, the better the chances of winning one of 100 grants for the school and a concert from The Band Perry.  State Farm will award ten $100,000 grants and 90 $25,000 grants and two Perry concerts to schools receiving the most commitments.
    If Water Valley is one of the top schools, that money could be put to work in a variety of ways, according to Water Valley High School Principal Dr. Glenn Kitchens.
    Boosting the driver’s education course could be a top priority, perhaps even offering the course during the summer could be an option according to Kitchens.
    “Some schools do that instead of students taking a class period in a regular classroom,” the principal noted.
    Kitchens added that a portion of the prize money could also be used to enhance the high school’s technology.
    But for the students, the possibility to have The Band Perry perform in Water Valley is the biggest incentive.
    “Our students, that’s the exciting thing for them,” Kitchens said about the concert.
    State Farm reports the first year of driving is the most dangerous for teens and more teens die from car crashes than any other cause. The company created the “Celebrate My Drive” in  2012 to share the belief that safe driving is a lifelong commitment from the start.
    This year’s message is making smart choices behind the wheel and the company is pushing 2N2 (two eyes on the road, two hands on the wheel.) It’s a simple habit that can reduce distracted driving and help new drivers build confidence on the road according to  the State Farm website.
    To help the school win everyone needs to vote each day from October 15-24 by going to the website www.celebrate and following the posted instructions. There is a limit of one safe driving commitment per person and per e-mail address per day, the rules state.
    “We need to get everyone to vote and get their friends to vote once a day everyday,” Dr. Kitchens added.
    The link will be posted on the Herald website and facebook page.
    Last year, thousands of high schools in communities all over North America joined the celebration, with more than six million safe driving commitments made. The schools are divided into one of two categories based on their 2013/14 enrollment: less than 750 students or 750 or more students.

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