Texting and drivingFor the past month, students in Monique Colizzi’s business management class at Charlotte High School have been running a “corporation” designed to end texting and driving among students. Crafted by six different departments, the corporation has attacked the issue from a number of angles, leading up to a school-wide presentation on Tuesday, May 19 at Charlotte Performing Arts Center — Stay Alive, Don’t Text and Drive.
The highlight of the presentation is featured speaker, Chad Johnson, a Grand Ledge resident whose life was changed when he was hit by a distracted driver.
“We definitely have a lot of kids in our school who don’t think texting and driving is a big deal,” said Bryce Johnson, a junior on the administrative team. “If we can show them one victim and have them hear his story, I honestly believe we can make a change.”
Bryce and fellow junior, Tyler Bandy have led the project, which has been funded by a $1,700 grant the class won from the Strive 4 A Safer Drive campaign, run through a partnership between Ford Motor Company, AAA Michigan and the Office of Highway Safety Planning. The money, managed by the financial team, has gone toward promoting the corporation’s efforts, securing signage that will be erected throughout the City of Charlotte and a banner that all CHS students may sign to make their pledge to not text and drive.
“The departments have worked really well together,” Bandy said. “It was a fun process putting all of the teams together.”
All students had to apply for jobs within the corporation and were hired to be a part of one of the six — administration, curriculum, financial, website, marketing/promotions, community signs/city council and video production. The curriculum team has put together lessons on distracted driving that will be shared with students throughout the school. The video production team worked with Fox 47 to put together a few public service announcements that will be shared with the school. The community signs/city council team presented their project to Charlotte City Council and made outreach to a number of important organizations that play a vital role in public safety. The team also secured a driving simulator that allows students to see how difficult it can be to properly drive a car while being distracted.
“Part of the grant stipulates that this is a student-run project,” Colizzi said. “They’ve really taken ownership.”
The all school assembly takes place Tuesday, May