Project Ignition Brings out the Best in Teen Driving Safety

Since 1983, the National Youth Leadership Council has strived to “create a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world with young people, their schools and their communities through service-learning.” They have been coordinating a lot of initiatives, research/leadership programs and professional development programs for over two decades now.

The one we will be focusing on is Project Ignition, which brings out the best in students, teachers and the community when it comes to creative service-learning programs designed to promote teen driver safety.

What is service-learning?

In their words, service-learning is “learning in action.” Creating a driving safety video about seat belt safety is a service. Sitting in front of a computer, watching that seat belt safety video is learning.

Service-learning is a method of teaching that puts the ball in the hands of the students, teachers and the community. With the freedom to create something based on things that they know their peers will learn from, regardless of the method of delivery, but also inclusive of things one might learn from a classroom creates a service-learning program that will be easier to comprehend. It is learning in action.

So what is Project Ignition, and how does it fit into all this?

Project Ignition is a service-learning grant program focused on providing high schools with great teen driver safety-focused service-learning ideas and giving them the spark necessary to get these ideas happen.

These ideas may engage students, teachers and the community to evaluate how they fit into the whole teen driver safety issue, and what can and must be done for them not only to be the cause of safety, but also influence attitudes and spread the overall message that not only do their peers care, but also the community. The impact of these ideas may change city policies; it may give students a platform for a dialogue with lawmakers they otherwise wouldn’t have got to; it may bring out stories from families of teen driving crashes; at the very least, these ideas might change minds.

The ripple effect achieved by these ideas is like throwing a boulder into a small pond.

What Project Ignition does to get these service-learning ideas started is provide a $2,000 grant for 25 selected schools which may enable the idea to become reality. But it doesn’t stop there: the 10 best out of the 25 schools selected stand a chance of becoming one of the Project Ignition National Leader Schools. Leader schools will be given the chance to expand their original campaign for a second year with a funding of $2,500, along with $5,000 to support their participation in the National Service-Learning Conference in 2012.

How do I get our school’s teen driver safety service-learning idea funded?

Project Ignition’s contact details are on the site. Application for becoming one of the 25 selected schools (in the US or Canada) is open in August, but interested parties may contact them as early as now.