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 Urban League awarded no texting while driving grant
By Carmen M Woodson-Wray
Story Posted:03/09/2013

Texting while driving has become one of the leading causes of accidents involving young people in the state of Indiana. Because the issue has become so prevalent, State Farm Insurance has funded a grant to educate young drivers about the hazards of driving while texting. The Urban League of Northwest Indiana has been named the recipient of that $20,000 No Texting While Driving Grant.

Vanessa Allen, President/CEO of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana and Chanta Delyeu, the League’s financial officer, applied for the grant over a year ago. Allen gave much of the credit for writing the grant to Delyeu. She said, “She did most of the research on the grant and pulled it together and we forgot about it.”

Allen said last week she received an email from Jim Slaven, Regional Community Director for State Farm Insurance informing her that the Urban League had been named the recipient of the grant.

Allen was very appreciative of the news and acknowledged how in previous years State Farm Insurance has always supported the Urban League in their educational outreach, scholarships and helping clients in resume writing.

Allen said the money will be used to educate students in grades 10 thru 12 in the Gary Community School Corporation and Lake Ridge School District. It will purchase informational material, billboards, commercials and sponsor workshops and simulator cars for demonstrations.

Allen said it was local State Farm Agent Sharon Chambers who suggested that the Urban League apply for the grant. Chambers said the number of claims the insurance company has received was enough to raise their awareness of how important it was to not text while driving and the education needed on the matter towards young people. She said not only is texting an issue, but talking while driving is a distraction among teenagers as well. She said, “We are totally committed to the education of not texting and talking while driving.”

Allen said the grant will definitely be a positive help in getting the word out. She said, “This is another win for this community to assist students and parents in understanding the consequences of texting while driving."

About State Farm's Celebrate My Drive Program
Celebrate My Drive® was created by State Farm® in 2012 to share the belief that safe driving is a lifelong commitment from the start. Since last year, thousands of students, family, friends and school staff members have joined the party.

With good reason – auto crashes are the number one cause of death among teens in North America. But Celebrate My Drive isn’t about scare tactics or negativity. It’s about emphasizing the positives of safe driving. If we can reinforce habits like remembering to think “2N2” whenever teens drive – keeping 2 eyes on the road and 2 hands on the wheel – we’ll save lives together.

Article Source: http://www.garycrusader.com/gary/News-Detail.aspx?typeID=1&newsID=3434

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