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Valrico Teens Win National Teen Driving Activism Contest

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 General News J E 4
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VALRICO, Fla., May 13 A group of teens from BloomingdaleHigh School have been named grand prize winners of the 2008 "Act Out Loud:Raising Voices for Safe Teen Driving" contest. The online teen safe drivingcontest, sponsored by National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) andfunded by The Allstate Foundation, featured 10 teams of teen driving activistsfrom across the country who competed to raise awareness for teen safe drivingin support of National Youth Traffic Safety Month in May. The Bloomingdaleteam will receive a $10,000 grand prize for their project, "Buckle Up," andwill designate a $5,000 grant in their honor to the Katie Marchetti MemorialFoundation, which was created to honor the memory of Katie Marchetti, aBloomingdale teen, who lost her life in a car crash in 2006.

In April 2008, Bloomingdale High School encouraged safe teen driving bypromoting its "Buckle Up" program through the student government and bydocumenting their project through blogs, photos and a video posting athttp://www.ActOutLoud.org. The team also filmed a daily segment for theirschool's television station, which promoted seat-belt use and defensivedriving, and incorporated teen driving statistics and interviews from studentsabout the importance of wearing seatbelts.

The winners were determined by the number of online votes they received onthe contest Web site. The teens at Bloomingdale worked tirelessly to encouragepeople to check out their project on http://www.ActOutLoud.org, and as aresult, they received thousands of votes.

"We're excited we won because everyone on the team has worked so hard tospread the word to our peers about being safe and responsible drivers," saidClaire Chipman, captain of Bloomingdale's team. "There are so many ways to usethis money to save lives. We're really happy to have the opportunity to keepour efforts moving forward."

"This is all about saving teen lives," said Lucas Grabeel, star of "HighSchool Musical" and spokesperson for Act Out Loud. "It's cool to see peoplewho are so creative and dedicated use their talents to have a positive impacton the world around them. We have the power to help reverse these stats andhelp prevent our friends from becoming one of the statistics."

The top 10 Act Out Loud teams across the country educated their peersright before summer, which is the deadliest season for teens on the road.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seven of thetop 10 deadliest days for teen drivers fall between Memorial Day and LaborDay. National Youth Traffic Safety Month activities encourage teens to conductsafe driving projects in May -- during prom, graduation and the launch of thesummer driving season -- in hopes that teens and communities will bepositively impacted by safe driving messages.

To view Bloomingdale's winning video and team page, and for additionalinformation on "Act Out Loud," please log on to http://www.ActOutLoud.org.

About National Organizations for Youth Safety

National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) is a non-profit coalitionof national organizations that focus on youth safety and health. Through thecoalition, NOYS influences more than 80 million young people and their adultadvisors. The mission of NOYS is to promote youth empowerment and leadership,and build partnerships that enhance safe and healthy lifestyles among allyouth. National Youth Traffic Safety Month is the signature campaign of NOYS.For more information, log onto http://www.noys.org.

About The Allstate Foundation

Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitableorganization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. TheAllstate Foundation partners with non-profit organizations on communityinitiatives that promote "safe and vital communities," "tolerance, inclusion,and diversity" and "economic empowerment." Tee
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