BEEKMANTOWN - The Beekmantown High School chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions now has money in hand to create a video about teen driver safety, but is looking for help from the community before it can become a reality.
The local SADD club recently received a $1,000 grant from State Farm Insurance as apart of "Project Ignition," a national program which addresses risky driving behaviors.
The funding, however, is less than the usual $2,000-$10,000 grants doled out by the program. This year, Project Ignition received 68 applications, with only 25 chosen to move onto the next step of creating a public service announcement or video.
According to Project Ignition program director Michael VanKeulan, BHS was among another 25 schools given a smaller grant as "seed money" to start their project and reapply for full funding for the 2009-10 school year.
"What happened this year was we began to have some concerns, because some very strong applications were coming in," explained VanKeulan. "If you think about it, the primary purpose of this effort is to decrease auto crashes, and issues affecting teen safety. Why not include others?"
BHS SADD advisor Cynthia Allen and student SADD members have already begun to work on what they hope to accomplish with the $1,000.
"Basically, what I'm doing is utilizing it to network with agencies and community," she explained.
If awarded the full grant after turning in another application in June, Allen and the students plan to record a video "highlighting experiences and consequences of destructive behavior as it relates to teen driving." The plan is to have the video available to schools throughout the region.
The video would "use individuals that have experiences either as a victim or a perpetrator of destructive behavior as it relates to teen driving," she explained.
Allen would also bring in legal representatives who could show the other side of destructive decisions.
"New York State legal representatives give the hard facts of the law," said Allen, "and what the punishment is. Which is sobering on its own."
The club is now looking to the community for help in planning what the video will entail, in order to complete its application.
"I e-mailed the [Clinton County] Youth Bureau, Emergency Services, anybody I could think of that would be involved with disastrous results of teen driving," Allen said, adding she plans to host a reception in March to begin a planning session.
Overall, Allen said she would appreciate help from the community in planning and production of the project.
"We can't do it alone," she said.
If interested in helping the BHS SADD club, contact Allen at 563-8787, ext. 4598, or e-mail email@example.com.