Tween Safety Project

Cloverdale Middle School


Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 8-14, also known as tweens, in Arkansas. Sadly, many of these deaths are preventable by children riding in the back seat of the vehicle and with the use of seatbelts. One of the solutions to reduce their death is for tweens to increase seatbelt use, and sit in the backseat.

Cloverdale Middle School and the Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (IPC) is pleased to announce our new “Tweens Click it for Safety” Program. This is an opportunity for students at our schools to become partners with helping to keep tweens alive and safe by making seatbelt use a normal activity for children in this age group. This program strives to increase motor vehicle safety practices for students, parents, and staff at a local school. IPC staff, along with Cloverdale's EAST students, will work together to tailor and implement a peer-led program at our school. Activities designed to increase seatbelt usage included education via social media, bulletin boards, skits, and newsletters/email blasts.

During the project, we believe that it only takes a moment to have a fatality due to an injury, but it also only takes a moment to practice safety and prevention. We hope other schools will join us in being one of the first schools to take a moment to increase safety by participating in this groundbreaking program! We are offering this program to our local schools at no financial cost.

Due to the alarming amount of vehicle crashes, we felt the need to partner up with the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Most programs addressing motor vehicle safety target young children and teens. Children between the ages of 8 to 14 years, also called “tweens,” are often overlooked because there is no research or literature on how to address this topic with the tween age group. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2016 data shows that three children in this age group were killed every day in motor vehicle crashes. Over half of the children killed were not wearing their seatbelt. Cloverdale Middle School and the Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is piloting a program to increase motor vehicle safety practices among tweens, their peers, their parents, and school staff.

What we want to do: Implement a school-based peer lead educational intervention designed to increase awareness of seatbelt use and sitting in the back seat. To encourage safer transportation of tweens the project will:

• Create behavior change by targeting students, parents, and staff

• Train a diverse group of students to develop and deliver safety messages

• Measure impact by conducting pre and post-program observations

How we will implement this program: Form a project team of up to 8 students and a school facilitator. The project team will:

• Tailor the program for your particular school under the supervision of the Tween Program Coordinator, and school facilitator

• Pick which activities to implement for the program

Some examples of how the team may educate students, staff and families on motor vehicle safety include, but are not limited to:

• Bulletin boards

• Closed circuit TV

• School assemblies

• Newsletters/email blasts

• School events (assemblies, PTA/PTO, Fall/Spring events)

• Social Media (Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, floor walkers)

What we need from the school: In order to make this project successful, your school will commit to providing:

• A faculty sponsor

• Up to 8 students to participate in the project team

• Space for the project team to meet

• Permission to conduct evaluation activities (observation of seatbelt use, survey distribution to students, parents, and teachers)

• Use of our school’s mascot on materials

Students at Cloverdale EAST classroom created a cardboard car and painted it green. The students shot videos of a skit where students showed how a short trip can lead to a serious accident when not wearing seatbelts. The students created bulletin boards with valuable information concerning seatbelt safety.