Discover Parenting 2016 Student Project Awards

Take a look at the following Powerpoint presentation of 2016 USEP-OHIO Discover Parenting Project entrants and winners.

The 2016 Discover Parenting entrants in both the Photo and Action Project categories, chosen by their teachers and Ohio school students to participate, include a wide range of subject matter. They reflect both new issues, urgent messages of safe and thoughtful parenting and recent research crucial for parents to know how to protect their children 24/7 at home, in the community and on our streets and highways. Every entrant’s offering is thoughtful and teaches responsibility and safety.

First Place Winner

"Look, Mommy is Making Sure I'm Safe Already"

Hannah Jefferis

Fairborn Digital Academy, Greene Co. Career Center, Fairborn, OH

Teacher – Nancy Myers

Hannah’s photo combines some important elements – a unique view of prenatal safety, original design, critical safety facts/information and a powerful educational approach that reaches a newly-targeted group of drivers. The “soon to be” parent has many responsibilities to the expected child, including physical, social, emotional and intellectual considerations. This photo represents all of these.

The state of mind of the expectant parent makes for an opportunity (a teachable moment) to rethink behavioral habits of health and safety in both the father and the mother. A new chance to be “tuned in” and to consider the research that confirms that wearing seat belts saves lives and minimizes injury in case of a crash, comes with a real chance to improve – making choices that reach a new standard of safety preparedness in mother, and perhaps in father too. In fact, for some, pregnancy is a set of life-changing experiences that result in earnest efforts to be informed and act on critical information. Keeping mother-to-be and the fetus safe is only a beginning, but can lead to important learning that affects the whole family into the future!

“Thinking safety” can lead to new avenues of critical thinking that address a whole realm of family needs and problems, like those addressed in the Family and Consumer Sciences classes Discover Parenting students experience. It might also mean that the prepared parent will learn to correctly seat the child in approved seating and restraints, and become an even safer driver and parent!

Hanna approached her photo as a research essay. The specific safety messages depicted in Hannah’s photo statement are those being discussed and taught by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in their Parents Central section.

The March of Dimes includes an extensive array of answers to questions regarding seat belt usage by expectant mothers. Many of the issues are described and illustrated on their website including What’s the correct way to wear a seat belt during pregnancy?

Second Place Winner

"Look Mom! I'm Learning from You How to Keep My Baby Safe!"

Victoria Myers, Austintown, OH

Mahoning County Career and Technical Center (MCCTC), Canfield School District

Teacher – Julie Pagnotta

Victoria photographed this happy traveler as she held and played with her baby doll. The caption reminds us that the powerful element of parental modeling affects the child for life, and is critical to healthy growth and development in the early years. This little one is most certainly learning from her parents, and will repeat the behaviors she observes! So Victoria’s photo and caption are a reminder of one of the strongest motivations parents have for being Safe and Responsible, as the Discover Parenting theme eloquently states. We can speculate that the next step for this little pretend parent is that she will wish to safely restrain her baby doll in a seat belt. So mom and dad may wish to use that opportunity to let her snap her baby into a toy dolly-sized seat.

Toys, books and imaginary play are all ways that parents and teachers can address learning concepts of real life activities. These activities allow children to approximate behaviors that lead to real action later, and to explore language and action that teaches them to think of needed responses to real life stimuli and situations. What happens in the housekeeping corner of the playroom gives practice to experience and think through activities of daily living in substantive ways. Play is the child’s work! And Victoria’s photo tells us the story of a little person in the life course of learning to be a safe citizen, and a safe parent to real babies in life ahead.

Third Place Winner

"I Like My Seatbelt Nice and Snug, Around My Hips Like a Big Bear Hug”

Courtney VanWinkle, Rushsylvania, OH

Benjamin Logan High School, Logan County SD

Teacher – Lois Stoll

Courtney’s photo shows a happy traveler, correctly seated in her child safety seat, dressed in an appropriate jacket. Being snugly restrained is key to passenger safety. It reminds of us a developing concern based on the design of garments for youngsters. Recently emerging stories are frighteningly real. Children from infants on, dressed in puffy coats made with a puffy lining; fabrics with a slick finish; or softly quilted with air-filled chambers that can compress in a crash, are flying out of their restraints. As a car goes into a spin or impacts another object, the force presses the air out of the jacket lining and allows increased space between the child’s body and the restraint, causing the child to fly out of the seat losing neck support; head-butting the seat in front; flying into the automobile, or out through a door or window that might give way in a crash.

Hurrah for those safety experts who have identified this as an additional reason why youngsters are flying out of their seats! Critical photos and information should be viewed by parents. Sometimes 4 inches of space can result with the force of a crash, when the seatbelt and chest belts felt snug under normal conditions. So look at the video at the bottom of this page for guidance. Consult nhtsa.govConsumer Reports and other responsible sources for guidance and safety information regarding car seats and coats.

Honorable Mention

"Click It or Ticket"

Ethan Kinney, Kenton, OH

Benjamin Logan High School, Bellefontaine

Teacher – Lois Stoll

Ethan used this older booster-seat rider to illustrate the simple message adopted several years ago, when North Carolina came up with it in their primary seatbelt enforcement campaign. It is such a basic but important message! Seat restraints enable the driver to maintain or regain control of their vehicle. Belting your children only partially protects them. You may save their lives by belting them and then properly belting yourself! It may help you save the lives of all those you drive. Seat Belts Save Lives!

Click It or Ticket is a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration campaign aimed at increasing the use of seat belts among young people in the USA. The campaign is aimed at teens and young adults, but has been a success with all ages! Click It or Ticket is a straightforward admonition like “Just do it”. It has been a huge success, and continues to help remind us to belt up, safely seat our children and passengers and drive safely. The message has come to represent so much more than simply snapping on our belts. 

The Click It or Ticket campaign has existed at state level for many years. In 1993, Governor Jim Hunt launched the campaign in North Carolina in conjunction with a “primary enforcement safety belt law,” which allows law enforcement officers to issue a safety belt citation, without observing another offense. Since then, other states have adopted the campaign. In May 2002, the ten states with the most comprehensive campaigns saw an increase of 8.6 percentage points, from 68.5% to 77.1%, in safety belt usage over a four-week period (Solomon, Ulmer, & Preusser, 2002). Congress approved $30 million in television and radio advertising at both the national and state levels, and continues to renew funding because Americans say they pay attention, and remember the slogan better than most others meant to change our behavior.

Discover Parenting 2016 Project Information:

Additional Notes on the 2016 photos: All of the 2016 photos have been on display in the Riffe Center for the Arts in the Statehouse Complex, and will be displayed in several venues, including the NAWHSL (National Association of Women Highway Safety Leaders) Conference in Seattle, and in Columbus at the OATFACS (Ohio Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Science) both in August 2016. The 2015 Discover Parenting Exhibit was on display recently at the Kalahari Conference Center in Sandusky, Ohio during the all Ohio Early Childhood Education Conference.

Congratulations to all! We hope your school, your community and local papers and newsletters will help you tell the story of your participation in Discover Parenting – 2016. Teachers look for the Discover Parenting 2017 registration soon at and view the Discover Parenting photos from recent years.

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