KC Named Two Time Winners Of Regional Battle of the Belts Competition
By Beth Hunolt
Knox County R-1 High School and Middle School students gathered in the Knox County gymnasium to be recognized for their participation in the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety’s Battle of the Belt Competition, where schools throughout the state are pitted against each other to achieve maximum seat belt usage from the students.
Arrive Alive members, Knox County cheerleaders and representatives from; American Family Insurance, the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety congratulated the young audience on February 23rd, 2010. Knox County cheerleaders inspired their classmates to continue using seatbelts with a series of chants and by tossing rally souvenirs into the audience.
"Statistics show that the number of teens in accidents is disproportional to the total number of people in vehicle crashes. Our goal is to increase awareness and seatbelt usage by KCHS students. Activities are planned and carried out by the Arrive Alive student team each fall to remind students how important it is to buckle up.” Stated Arrive Alive sponsor and student coordinator for the event, Cyndy Bliem-Sharp.
The students in high school, middle school and elementary school were asked to participate in the school’s Battle of the Belt poster and flyer contest. First place winner for the high school competition was junior, Cory Goodrich, second place winner was freshman, Gabby Zajac. Middle school first place entry was from seventh grader, Teara Ramer; the second place entry was from seventh grader Alex Hamlin. Elementary school winners Matthew Hunolt and Serena McCarty were invited to the rally to collect their prizes. Matthew, a third grader, entry was selected as first and Serena, a forth grader, entry was selected second prize. Winner of the high school flyer design were; first place, junior, Amber Ausmus, second place, sophomore, Olivia Strange and third place, junior Chelsea Bisch.
“In 2008, seven out of ten young people killed in Missouri vehicle crashes were not buckled up,” said Tana Akright, coordinator for the regional Battle of the Belt program, “Through education, competition and fun, the Battle of the Belt Challenge can make a difference with Missouri teens and save lives.”
Each school participating in the challenge had two surprise seatbelt checks to measure student seat belt use before and after an educational seat belt awareness campaign. Knox County was one of four regional schools in the northeast region of Missouri being recognized for their achievements in increasing seatbelt usage.
Knox County students were awarded with a Silver banner to hang in the school, for remembering to buckle up; to achieve silver level, over 95 percent of the student body must wear their seat belts when riding or driving a motor vehicle. 96.15% of Knox County students wear their seatbelts.
In addition, Knox County High School won the Northeast Regional award for the highest Overall Safety Belt Usage. The school received a $250 check American Family Insurance, who is a sponsor for this year’s competition.
“It's the students who deserve the credit for doing such a phenomenal job." Says Bliem-Sharp. This is the second year Knox County students have won the Battle of the Belt competition. Students at Knox County were congratulated and encouraging by their peers and mentors to continue to wear their seatbelts.