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Letter: Help Students Win Driver Safety Prize

We are asking local residents to help Massapequa High School students win $10,000 from the Allstate Foundation for teen driver safety education. Go to, click on Massapequa to vote for the students. Massapequa High School is one of 20 high schools in the nation-the only one in New York State-as a finalist for this prize.

A group of Massapequa High School students worked to enlist as many students as possible to think deeply about driving safety. There were many teachers involved and many students involved but mostly this is a student-led project that has grown long legs.

Beginning with Awareness Week in March, students have attended assemblies and discussed safe driving in many classes including drivers' education. A group of students in our Academy submitted their ideas about promoting driving safety to Act Out Loud and now Massapequa High School (MHS) is one of 20 high schools in the nation (the only one in New York State) to be competing for a $10,000 award for MHS teen driving safety. Our Academy Program encourages students to take real-world problems and use the knowledge and skills learned in school to find solutions.

The students' idea is to enlist as many students as possible to contribute to this project. We are at 160 and climbing right now. Many student projects have been posted on (click on Massapequa) and more projects are coming in on a daily basis. Students are really excited about contributing to this cause as driving is something all teenagers look forward to.

We plan to continue activities throughout the spring as May, June and July are the months with the most teenage driving accidents. In addition to the website, we are creating a window display at the Sunrise Mall and launching a social networking campaign to ask everyone (not just students) to vote for Massapequa from May 11-22. The school with the most votes wins.

MHS students are interested in using this award to purchase a drunk driving simulator which would be used year after year to educate students to how easily accidents can happen and be prevented by making the decision not to drink and drive. Students are also extremely interested in spreading the word that driving distractions - cell phones, texting, putting on makeup, having too many passengers, are large causes of accidents that are easily preventable as well. Our school is committed to continuing this promotion from year to year to help teenagers everywhere with student-created projects featured on a website. We have found that student excitement has increased as they see their work published on the Internet.

We hope you can support us in our effort by helping spread the word for everyone to vote daily for Massapequa on May 11-22. Please feel free to contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or our advisor Mrs. Susan Thompson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 308-5975 for more information.

Although we are in Nassau County, we hope all of New York State will vote for us. Please help us spread the word.

Rich Staubitz,
Amanda Kugler,
Brian Cusisk,
Massapequa High School students