September 23, 2018

LYSB Youth Advisory Council Boldly Takes on ‘Texting While Driving’ Issue

LYSB's Youth Advisory Council members stand proudly behind their message.

LYSB’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) members stand proudly behind their message.  Holding the banner with more than 200 signatures are YAC members (from left to right, kneeling) Missy Garvin and Julia Strycharz., (from left to right, standing) Max Garvin, Katie Colburn, Erin Kroes, Chelsea Evankow, Lindsey Scott, Liz Scott, Brenna Visgilio, Maria Basileo, Fiona Barrett, Meredith Britton and Allie Buckley.

The Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau’s (LYSB) Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is confronting head-on the issue of texting while driving.  Council members are a dedicated group of high schoolers who have put together a campaign to stop the growing and dangerous epidemic of texting while driving.

This campaign’s tagline is “Don’t let your next text be your last.”  The campaign itself was launched at ‘The Bizz’ talent show held May 3 when the YAC group performed a skit with some important statements to persuade the audience of Lyme and Old Lyme drivers to sign their pledge promising to stop texting while driving.  After taking the pledge, participants were given a sticker with the group’s anti-texting and -driving logo and asked to sign a large banner which will be displayed in various locations throughout the community.

Caroline’s Miracle Foundation has generously sponsored the campaign and assisted with the purchase of the banner and the stickers, supporting this worthy cause and the mission of the Youth Advisory Council.

During the week following ‘The Bizz’, YAC hosted an assembly for the entire high school student body during their advisory period.  A dramatic video was shown which warns the students about the dangers of distracted driving.

Nora Syed and George Logan sign 'The Pledge.'

Senior Class Officers Nora Syed and George Logan sign ‘The Pledge.’

High school students, as well as many staff members, then signed the pledges and banner.  The YAC group has collected more than 200 pledges and signatures to date.

Katie Colburn, LYSB Program Assistant states, “This is a topic that Missy and I have been concerned with for years.  When we brought it up to the YAC members last fall they were very enthusiastic and excited about raising awareness throughout the community.“

Texting and driving is not just a teen problem.  Recent research shows that adults who text, will do so while driving at a rate greater than teens.  “Many of the teens who saw the video and took the pledge told us they wish their parents would take the pledge as well,” comments Missy Garvin, LYSB Youth Programs Coordinator.  She adds, “The students have been devoted to the cause and spreading the message.  I am so proud of them.”

It is the mission of YAC to have this message spread community wide and to make a lasting impact on drivers in the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme.  The YAC group has major plans for this campaign and ask that readers stay posted for follow-up information on the progress of the pledges and where the banner may show up next.

If readers are interested in taking the pledge, contact LYSB at 860-434-7208 or www.lysb.org, and remember, “Don’t let your next text be your last.”

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