Making The Grade

Making The Grade

Students Use Humor to Teach Peers About Dangers of Distracted Driving

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The sketch, in conjunction with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, helps teens understand ways they are potentially unsafe on the roads. (Published Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014)

    Some Connecticut high school students are trying to spread the message of safe teen driving through comedy performances.

    The student production is called “Drive It Home”, and it is aimed at spreading awareness about safe driving, set around a session between a “Dr. Phil”-type psychologist, a parent, and child.

    "There is a lot of lack of communication going on. The mom is not doing appropriate parenting, and so the skit is explaining different forms of parenting, how to be a good parent, and how to go through the steps of driving with your teenager," said Catherine McElaney, one of the student actors.

    The project is funded, in part, through the Allstate Foundation and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

    "We see kids going to the hospital with so many different injuries related to car crashes and other things, so we want to make sure that we reduce the amount of kids that are being seen because of this stuff we know can be prevented," said Luis Rivera, the hospital's Program Coordinator.

    Connecticut Children's found willing participants at schools throughout the state, including at Hartford Public High School, where the drama program was looking for a project, but didn’t have enough money.

    "It was kind of a match made in heaven, said Danielle Procaccini, Hartford Public's drama teacher.

    Though the performances are designed to be funny, the subject matter is very serious.

    "I feel like the biggest thing that kept hitting people were the distractions, whether it be the radio, whether it be the phone, friends in the car, things like that. It was always the distractions," said Elyssia Reyes, a student actor taking part in the program.

    “I’m hoping that even though the show is a comedy, that they take home the main points that distracted driving isn’t okay and that parents and teens need to cooperate effectively with each other to prevent distracted driving and other things that could lead to potential accidents on the road," said Shaila Murdock, one of the program's actors.