West Monroe High School Wins a $25,000 “Celebrate My Drive” Grant

West Monroe High School has won a $25,000 grant through the "Celebrate My Drive" program created by State Farm. The program helps promote safe driving among teenagers.
WEST MONROE (STATE FARM) -- West Monroe has something extra to celebrate this season thanks to thousands of safe driver commitments made in support of West Monroe high school through the Celebrate My Drive® program created by State Farm.  

One hundred schools won grants ranging from $25,000 to 100,000 in the national competition in which over 3500 schools participated. WMHS was in that top 100, and earned a $25,000 grant for their efforts from State Farm. Over 6,300,000 safe driving commitments were made in support of competing schools throughout the US and Canada during the contest. 

The WMHS student body learned of the award Friday morning, and a formal presentation was made at half-time of the Rebel football game Friday night.

In addition to collecting commitments to be safe drivers, the Celebrate My Drive program recognizes a very important and joyous occasion in the life of young people - learning to drive! Car crashes are the number one killer of teens, and a teen’s first year on the road is the most dangerous. Using research as a guide, State Farm® is approaching teen driver safety, a winnable public health battle, by engaging teens while they learn to drive in a supportive and positive way. 

State Farm’s Vice President-Agency, Kimberly White, said, “We at State Farm, and especially the local agents, are very proud of the West Monroe’s efforts to generate excitement among students, faculty and the entire community to make safe driving commitments and have positive conversations about teen driver safety. We believe that people engaging and making commitments online will notice that effort made a positive influence on their thinking about driving safety. It’s exciting to see this pay off in a big way for West Monroe high school.”

To stimulate more safe driving conversations, State Farm specified that 10% of these funds be used to support ongoing teen driver safety efforts. The need for more awareness around auto safety is supported in the report on distracted driving State Farm released this month. The July, 2013, survey of nearly 1000 motorists shines a light on a growing safety concern: people accessing the internet while driving.  Five years of data show a significant increase in the use of mobile web services while driving—for all ages.
State Farm’s regional spokesman, Gary Stephenson, adds, “Smartphones have introduced another set of distractions for drivers. In addition to texting while driving, people are now able to use multiple mobile web services such as surfing the web, social media, GPS and other apps. Distracted driving is becoming an increasing challenge for a growing segment of our population, and that potential affects anyone on the road.  We believe the safety commitments made by students, parents and school supporters during the competition benefited drivers of all ages.”  
State Farm believes Celebrate My Drive is an effective tool to amplify the conversation around the importance of education related to teen driver safety.  State Farm agents held more than 800 teen driving safety events between Oct. 18th and Oct. 26th. These community celebrations focused on safe driving habits, emphasizing the benefits of safe choices as teens celebrate the freedom that comes with getting a drivers’ license. 
State Farm agents serving West Monroe are—Pam Accardo, Robert Cook, Kim Dukes, Ben Duty, and Blake Wheelis.
State Farm is the largest insurer of autos in Louisiana and the nation.
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