WAKEFIELD — Tripp Crayton, Principal of Wakefield High School, says it every day on the announcements, and Wakefield students have gotten used to hearing it now: It’s all about the W!
When you think about what that statement might mean, State Farm’s Celebrate My Drive Contest the school entered this fall, is an example. The contest ended Oct. 26 and Wakefield was a big winner.
The contest afforded the Wakefield community an opportunity to come together and compete for a grant, going up against other high schools (several thousand of them) from all across the country.
Students, parents, faculty, family, and friends joined together to not only try and do something great for their school, but also in support of a cause that is very near and dear to their hearts.
There are not many high schools around that have gone through the trauma Wakefield did when, back in 1996, they lost nine students to driving accidents in less than 18 months time.
Today’s society forces young people into the adult arena all too often, and at times, the choices they make can be the difference in a life or death situation.
Wakefield’s JUST THINK FIRST Program began after that horrific year, and has come to have a real presence in the school.
JUST THINK FIRST addresses the societal ills we see our children having to deal with, including violence, sex, drugs, alcohol, gangs, bullying, and unsafe driving behaviors.
The intent of the JTF initiative is to provide powerful messages to teens through programs and assemblies, videos and documentaries, displays, PSAs, club activities, community events and more.
Personal responsibility and choices students can make when confronted with particular situations are always an emphasis.
“Over 150 JUST THINK FIRST student ambassadors led the charge in the recent Celebrate My Drive on-line voting contest” said Dr. Vivian Wells, one of the JUST THINK FIRST founders at Wakefield.
“Celebrate My Drive was created by State Farm to share the belief that safe driving is a lifelong pledge or undertaking. The contest allowed communities to rally around teen drivers and encourage them to make safe driving commitments. Auto crashes are the number one cause of death among young people today. If we can reinforce good driving habits like remembering to keep two eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel — we can help save lives,” she said.