It’s the start of another school year. Another chance for new beginnings and making a difference in your community. One of the best ways to begin is by starting a Teens in the Driver Seat team and recruiting teens to join the efforts in promoting traffic safety.
Diane Shiley knows all about the fast track to success when it comes to sponsoring and building a Teens in the Driver Seat team! Ms. Shiley recently retired from Islands High School in Savannah, Georgia. Islands High School became a TDS program in 2013, Shiley sponsored the team there for 5 years. She approached the program from a grass roots effort and formed a team from scratch – they were not associated with any national organization and were open to everyone. This meant team member recruitment had to be creative and consistent.
Here are some tips she’s learned along the way that can help you make your team a success:
- Put recruitment in the team members hands. Help them with ideas and logistics, but they should be the face of the team and efforts.
- Attend Freshman Orientation with information
- Conduct Lunch & Learn events where potential team members can learn about the team with a free lunch
- Conduct activities at feeder middle school students
- Keep the team open to anyone who wants to join
- Ask administration to support team efforts
- Partner with local groups, such as health and law enforcement
- Take care of the team’s reputation by requiring safe driving and passenger habits, team involvement, and passing grades and school attendance
- Plan and conduct consistent activities to keep team’s involvement
- Encourage and support teen’s ideas
- Support team leaders to mentor and be examples to all
If you’re interested in starting or sponsoring a TDS team, check out: https://www.t-driver.com/get-involved/start-tds/ for more info on how to get involved.
About the Teens in the Driver Seat Program
Started in 2002, Teens in the Driver Seat® is the first peer-to-peer program for teens that focuses solely on traffic safety and addresses all major risks for this age group.
Teens help shape the program and are responsible for implementing it and educating their peers and parents; Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) provides the science, guidance and project resources.
Teens in the Driver Seat® is available to high schools in California, Georgia, Idaho, Nebraska, Colorado, and Texas. Additionally, the junior high school program is available in Texas and Georgia.