Grant money means boost to Battle of the Belts

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By Beth Braden

Campbell County High School was one of 26 schools in the country to receive a $2,000 grant from Project Ignition, a teen driver safety program.
“The grant was specific to help with the Battle of the Belts program,” said Alexis Keiser, coordinated school health director.
Battle of the Belts is a competition between other local high schools to increase seatbelt usage among students. In East Tennessee, CCHS, Oak Ridge High School, Pigeon Forge High School, Midway High School and Heritage High School are participating.
The money from Project Ignition has been spent on a large banner about the program and on buying branded air fresheners that students will place in their cars to remind them to buckle up, Keiser said.
Since the battle began last fall, seat belt usage is up, she said. During the first random seatbelt survey, only 49 percent of students were using a seatbelt. On the second and third surveys, those numbers rose to 69 and 70.
“That’s a huge difference,” she said.
Students have also worked on a scrapbook about the work they’ve done to increase seatbelt usage. The winner of Battle of the Bands will be chosen based on the rate of seatbelt use and on the scrapbook of activities done to promote safer driving.  
The banner and air fresheners should arrive before the students return from spring break.
There will be a presentation with local State Farm agent Lynn Ray when the materials arrive, Keiser said.