Highway construction workers throughout North Carolina can be assured that at least a few kids throughout the state are aware of the dangers of their job.
A dozen students were honored by the North Carolina Department of Transportation for their entries in the 2005 Work Zone Safety Poster Contest, which were chosen from more than 1,000 entries received from school-aged children across the state.
NCDOT currently has a program in which it visits classrooms across the state to discuss work zone safety issues, but spokeswoman Amanda Perry said the department is about to step up its educational efforts.
A kit is in development to assist teachers in discussing the importance of a heightened awareness when traveling both as a driver and a passenger through work zones.
“School children are future motorists,” Perry said.
The kit will include a teacher guide, activities and a lesson plan and will be adapted for different grade levels.
The lesson will discuss how work zones are different from other parts of a highway, as well as important safety tips.
Perry said the poster contest alone has an effect on the participants’ parents, as their children caution them to be careful in the car.
The kit is expected to be ready for the 2006-07 school year.
Following are the winners:
Age Group 5-8
First place — Dominick Wilson, Eastern Elementary School (Greenville)
Second place — Mackenzie Fletcher, Forest City Elementary School (Forest City)
Third place — Katie Nolen, Love Memorial Elementary School (Lincolnton)
Age Group 9-11
First place — Nathan Kipp, W.R. Odell Elementary School (Concord)
Second place — Tonia Summerlin, South Edgecombe Middle School (Pinetops)
Third place — Chris Simonson, South Smithfield Elementary School (Smithfield)
Age Group 12-15
First place — Elizabeth Fox, Walter M. Williams High School (Burlington)
Second place — Jacob Alexander, Bradley Middle School (Huntersville)
Third place — Ashley Beasley, John Griffin Middle School (Fayetteville)
Age Group 16-18
First place — Berkley Webster, Walter M. Williams High School (Burlington)
Second place — Robert Onan, Swansboro High School (Swansboro)
Third place – Alex Lowe, Walter M. Williams High School (Burlington)
The winning entries will be featured in a 12-month calendar, which will be distributed to the winners and their classes. Winners also will receive a check in the amount of $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place from the Carolinas Associated General Contractors along with certificates from NCDOT.
The poster contest is held to increase work zone safety awareness and education among students. School children from across the state were invited and encouraged to participate.