Kent high schoolers teach peers to 'Arrive Alive'

By Kyle McDonald | Staff Writer Published:

Students at Kent Theodore Roosevelt High School spent the past week learning the ropes of what it takes to be safe behind the wheel.

Megan Lavins and Erin Mackanos, Roosevelt juniors and classmates in the DECA program, organized the "Arrive Alive" week to educate their fellow students on the importance of safe driving.

"One of the reasons we chose to do it is because in the past two years, we've had two major accidents and we've been fortunate not to lose any lives," Lavins said. "This is the perfect time, coming into the holiday season, so we're hoping to make a difference."

Lavins and Mackanos got Larry Kannal at State Farm Insurance to sponsor the campaign, and the Ohio Highway Patrol to lend a texting and driving simulator.

"There were so many people around (the simulator) and state patrol members interacting with the students," Lavins said. "It was fun, and we were actually getting information to the students."

At the beginning of the week, key chains with the "Arrive Alive" logo were passed out to the student body, and mangled car was parked on the high school's front lawn to remind students of the significance of safe and attentive driving.

"We're trying to get people's attention, and that's doing it," Lavins said.

Friday, in a school-wide assembly, students heard first-hand accounts from Kent Police Lt. Jim Prusha and Crestwood girl's soccer coach Marc Streem, whose son died in a car accident.

Following the assembly, students signed a large poster pledging that they'll work toward safe driving throughout their lives, Lavins said.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1127 or kmcdonald@recordpub.com

The week of safe driving education wrapped up Saturday, with the "Hoops with Heroes" basketball games featuring members of Kent and Ravenna's police and fire departments facing off.

Lavins said although she's stayed very busy throughout the week, its been fulfilling.

"Even if its just the silly things like giving kids key chains and seeing people's reactions or going to the lunch period and seeing people grouped around our project, it's exciting because I feel like we're making a difference."

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