Fingarson taking FCCLA STAR event to state
project earns gold rating at districts
The National Safety Council estimates 1.6 million crashes each year are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting. This is just one of the statistics that led Hayley Fingarson of Valley-Edinburg High School to choose the subject for her Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Event project “Don’t Text Yourself to Death.”
Fingarson encouraged all Valley-Edinburg High School students to take the AT&T It Can Wait pledge at www.itcanwait.com. Fingarson then set a goal to educate beginning drivers about the dangers of texting while driving. Her project began with a pre-test to assess eighth and ninth grade students’ attitudes about texting and driving, a speech which included facts and educational videos about the dangers, and distribution of thumb rings to remind students to not text while driving.
Fingarson organized a presentation by State Highway Patrolman Matt Peschong who addressed the student body and gave a demonstration using a roll-over simulator to illustrate the importance of seat belt use should drivers be involved in a crash caused by texting or other factors. Her project conclusion involved a second visit to the eighth and ninth grade Valley-Edinburg students to give information on the legal issues that may be involved when someone is killed by a driver who was texting at the time of impact, North Dakota laws on the subject and a post-test to show what students had learned. She also sent letters to the student’s parents to inform them of resources they could use in discussing texting with their beginning drivers.
Fingarson received a gold rating under the category National Programs in Action at the district FCCLA STAR event in Grafton on Feb. 19, and will advance to the state event April 7-9 in Bismarck. Judy Geir, Valley-Edinburg High School Family and Consumer Sciences Education teacher is the school district’s FCCLA advisor.