Happy new school year and TDS year! While many of you may not associate this with a happy time, Teens in the Driver Seat wants to give you a little something to look forward to and maybe help you ease into the new school year: the Teens in the Driver Seat Cup. #HolyGrail #Legit #Winning
What is the TDS Cup?
Now, being compared to the #HolyGrail has probably got you thinking that this has got to be something pretty extraordinary and you’re right. In a nutshell, the TDS Cup is the ultimate reward for TDS schools to prove one thing, and one thing only: that your school has the BEST TDS team. Through MARCH 31, 2015, your TDS team is awarded points for every single safe driving activity done in your school and community (please keep reading so you can see the catch, there’s ALWAYS a catch, but for the most part, our catch is chump change compared to what you can win!).
Why should I care?
Well, in today’s world, competition is stiff and adding that you’re the BEST looks great on any resume. By winning the TDS Cup you’re essentially saying that your TDS Team went above and beyond any other to spread the message and SAVE LIVES. Numero Uno. The Big Cheese. The Ultimate Supreme. (Are you hungry yet? We certainly are!) Another reason that we forgot to mention (how did we forget to mention this?) is that your school can also win up to $1,000! Should we have said that first? Probably.
Okay, so now that I care how does it work?
First, each state has it’s own competition, and Texas has four divisions: Junior High, 1A-2A, 3A-4A, and 5A-6A. Within each state competition and division there are three places. First place cup winner will earn their school $1,000, Second place gets $500 and third place gets $250.
Now let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of it:
- Only schools that have completed school surveys/assessments are eligible. The surveys paint a picture of what’s going on in your school including: knowledge of the top 5 driving risks, driving behaviors and other really legit information. Texas and Georgia has one survey per year, California, Connecticut and Nebraska has 2 sets of surveys to complete (pre and post).
- Each activity is assigned a “Point Earning Scale” which tells you how many points each activity is worth. Note: Some activities can only be counted a certain number of times meaning there are a “maximum number of points.” (View full rules for online under Events/Contests – 2014-2015 Teens in the Driver Seat Cup).
- IMPORTANT: In order for an activity to be given points we MUST have received a completed ACTIVITY FORM. What does this mean? Since we are not covert operatives who spy on people, we need to hear from you. So tell us what activities you have completed by filling out an activity form!
- Your school also has to earn a minimum number of points.
Okay, give me some activity examples.
First, we’re not THAT lazy meaning there are some activities that do not require an activity form to be submitted (you may also interpret this as we kinda do have ninja spy powers).
Example A: For each photo of an activity you share on the TDS Facebook wall, Instagram (must tag @teensinthedriverseat), or Twitter (must tag @TeensDriverSeat) you get 1 point for a maximum of 20 points. Translation: You get points for doing stuff you’re probably already doing – except it’s not your friends Instagram or SnapChat but just pretend it is. NO ACTIVITY FORM REQUIRED.
Example B: Holding a team meeting to plan Teens in the Driver Seat outreach counts for 1 point and must be at least 30 minutes. A maximum of 5 points can be given per school. ACTIVITY FORM IS REQUIRED.
Example C: Entering your awesome video, poster, or t-shirt design in the Driving the Message Contest. Your team will receive 1 point per entry, up to 10 points. NO ACTIVITY FORM REQUIRED.
Example D: Perform a skit at a school pep rally that teaches about teen driving risks. Your team will receive 3 points, up to 27 points for activities of this type.
Be sure to use your TDS Planning Calendar or get activity ideas online too. So is this making sense? Of course it does! You’re part of TDS for crying out loud, we know you’re smarter than the average bear!
So what’s the catch?
Well, if you haven’t caught on already (but we’re sure you have because the bear thing remember?) there’s ALWAYS a catch and here’s ours: In order to be eligible for the TDS Cup your school has to complete the surveys/assessments and submit any and all activity forms no later than March 31, 2015.
What are some helpful tips that I should consider?
- Complete the surveys at the beginning of the year to kick off TDS at your school. You get it out of the way at the very beginning and it lets other teens in your school know you’re there.
- Submit the activity form right after you complete the activity. Our memories aren’t that great so waiting a really long time can lead to missing details or forgetting to submit the form altogether. We know you are super busy, so try and do it right away while you’re in TDS mode. You can even complete the form on your phone!
- Include pictures! Pictures are a great way of showing just how great your event was plus, you may even get featured on our website (which also gives you points!). Be sure to go over all the ways you can get points with your group. One of the best ways to do this is during one of your planning meetings.
- Reach out to your regional rep as much as possible. Each rep. is like a pro at this so they can always help you figure things out or answer any questions you may have.
- Lastly, don’t wait until the last minute to turn in all your forms! Our office works with a total of 5 states and getting them all in on March 31st really delays our ability to determine a winner. Also, your rep can’t track your progress and help you if they don’t know what you’re doing until the deadline!
In the end, have fun and do it for the greater good. Sometimes, we get caught up in just getting points but miss out on the bigger picture which is saving the lives of your friends and family. So always try to remember, saving lives is the greatest reward so even if you’re not a TDS Cup winner, you’re still a WINNER at life!