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      Jean Sullivan
      Communications Director
      732-473-3100 x 3060

    Page Title| Happenings News Stories  2014


    February 26, 2014

    OCVTS MATES Students Hoping to Steer Young Drivers Toward Safe Practices
    Jean Sullivian, February 26, 2014

    MATES students are preparing their safe driving campaign, "Focus on the Drive from the Passenger's Side" as part of the U Got Brains Champions Schools Program

    OCEAN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY Students from the Ocean County Vocational Technical School's Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (OCVTS MATES) are competing in the 'U Got Brains Champion School Program,' The Champion School Program is sponsored by The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey. Funding is provided by The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, The Allstate Foundation and DriveSafer. MATES is one of 63 New Jersey schools this year who have taken on the challenge of developing a safe driving campaign to educate young drivers and encourage safe driving practices. According to the website, ugotbrains.com "The goal of this program is to partner with teens from schools across our state to raise awareness of teen driving safety and to reduce teen driving injuries and deaths. Car crashes are the #1 cause of death and disability in teens. In New Jersey, a teen crashes every 10 minutes and one teen dies each week on new Jersey's roads. "

    Each participating school team develops a public service campaign focusing on one particular safety aspect. The Champion Schools Program provides each team with a one thousand dollar stipend to use to develop educational and promotional materials to deliver their message.

    MATES students have chosen "Focus on the Drive from the Passenger's Side". As a passenger, what can you do to ensure that you and the driver are focused on safety? Their campaign includes surveys and presentations to younger students, a Public Service Announcement video, social media exposure, promotional T Shirts and special roadside signs which will be installed on OCVTS campuses.

    The campaigns will be judges on criteria such as use of resources and media, measurable impact of their campaign and the sustainability of their message. Each school will present their campaign at the 4th Annual 'U Got Brains Champion Schools Program' Showcase & Awards Luncheon, held in June. Winners of the challenge receive a driving simulator for their school as well as a cash grant to fund an 'After Prom' party as well as a school presentation about the dangers of distracted driving.

    The Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) is a four-year public high school administered by the Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) District. The school exists within the community to provide a unique, nurturing, and challenging hands-on learning experience for college bound and career-oriented students interested in pursuing a career in the marine sciences. MATES has been designed to give its students a rigorous academic curriculum with concentration in the areas of math, science, and technology.

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