Ford Motor Company Fund (Ford Fund), the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, honored five FFA chapters for their work to develop safe driving campaigns in local communities. Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 were granted to each of the five winning chapters at this year's FFA National Convention which also coincided with the second annual National Teen Driver Safety Week. As well, this program will be implemented into The National FFA Organization. 2008 is the 60th anniversary of the Ford Motor Company's sponsorship of The National FFA Organization.
The Emery FFA Chapter of Castle Dale was one of the five winning chapters. Corinne Dalton, Castle Dale High School teacher and FFA advisor put together a proposal for the campaign on behalf of the FFA chapter.
"We have a program all lined out over the course of the next six months or so of ways to reach out to students and the community to educate them about safe driving," said Dalton. "The first thing we're going to do is get posters out by Halloween reminding students as they leave the school parking lot to drive carefully during their activities. Then we have guest columns planned with the local papers and public service announcements for the radio, among other things."
Ford's nationally recognized Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL) program was used as the curriculum for the programs FFA chapters developed. Ford DSFL was created in 2003 in partnership with the Governors Highway Safety Association, in an effort designed to reduce teen crashes and fatalities in America.
"Through FFA, we do a lot of safety education with both the elementary and secondary grades already, particularly as it relates to bikes, four-wheelers and farm equipment," continued Dalton. "The driver safety campaign is a natural extension of that. Additionally the scholarship will allow us to pursue some leadership opportunities for our members. We're very pleased about that."
"The safety of teens in cars and trucks is a top priority of Ford," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "We are committed to supporting the FFA and we want to help these future leaders to succeed, from the start of their careers to the end - just like many of their parents and grandparents."
Other winning chapters include: Temple FFA - Temple, Ga.; Wilmot FFA - Wilmot, S.D.; Syracuse FFA - Syracuse, Neb.; Ripley FFA - Ripley, W.V.
National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 19-25, was created to increase awareness around the issue of teen driver safety, because vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, claiming nearly 7,000 teen lives a year. Experts have identified the lack of these skills to be the cause of approximately 60 percent of vehicle crashes for newly licensed drivers ages 16 - 19.
Ford DSFL consists of learning tools such as an interactive Web site which includes learning modules, quizzes, car care and driving tip videos, interactive games and an enhanced eco-driving curriculum. Free educator packets are available for students and parents to use at home, as well as teachers and administration in classrooms and communities. Additionally, in-school and community programs are created to meet the specific needs of communities and schools.
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford does business. Established in 1949 and made possible by Ford Motor Company profits, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy. National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Ford DSFL, a teen-focused auto safety initiative. The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford's legacy of caring worldwide. Through the Volunteer Corps, salaried employees, union members, retirees and their families participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information on programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit www.ford.com
For more information regarding the Ford Driving Skills for Life program, please visit www.drivingskillsforlife.com