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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2008


Contact:


Matt Vanover 217-782-4648
Andrea Preston 217-782-4648
Brian Williamsen (IDOT) 217-558-0517


ISBE & IDOT honor Work Zone Safety contest winners

12 students’ work to be shown in 10,000 Work Zone Safety Calendars across Illinois; caps off National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 7-11

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are highlighting the importance of safety in road construction work zones across the state by honoring 12 student winners in the 2008 Illinois Work Zone Safety Calendar Contest. The awards luncheon today in Springfield capped off a national weeklong campaign to raise awareness about the importance of safety in work zones during National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 7 – 11.

“We are thrilled to have this kind of participation by our young people,” said IDOT Secretary Milton R. Sees. “This contest gives children the opportunity to put their creative talents to work, and educate their parents and all drivers about the importance of driving safely in work zones.”

The statewide calendar contest is designed to promote work zone safety by introducing children at an early age to safe driving techniques. The idea is to instill a lifelong awareness of work zone hazards and foster safe driving behavior in the future. Students in kindergarten through sixth-grade in public elementary schools around the state were eligible to participate in this contest.

“Summer and the end of the traditional school year are just around the corner and that means more traffic and more construction,” said State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch. “I applaud the efforts of these students for sharing their views and highlighting an important message.”

Each child’s colorful drawing depicts their view of a work zone and will represent one month in the 2009 Work Zone Safety calendar. More than 10,000 calendars will be released this fall and distributed at IDOT and ISBE events across the state. During the ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, each of the finalists was honored with a plaque and other prizes. Also, the first and second place winners in the three categories received a $600 and $300 savings bond, respectively. The three categories are: kindergarten through first grade, second through third grade and fourth through sixth-grade.

The contest was sponsored by IDOT and ISBE in partnership with the Illinois Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation (ATSSF), along with Midwest Region Laborers, COUNTRY Insurance & Financial Services, Illinois Road and Transportation Builders, Illinois Radio Network and the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program.

The top 12 finalist drawings that will make-up the 2009 calendar can be viewed online at www.dot.il.gov/trafficsafety/WZS/WZScontest.html.

The category and honorable mention winners for the 2009 calendar are:

K-1st grade category:

  • 1st Place – Isabella Betejeski, first grade, Troy Crossroads Elementary, Troy CCSD 30C

  • 2nd Place – Savannah Taylor, first grade, Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Pleasant Valley SD 62

2nd – 3rd grade category:

  • 1st place – Johan Antonio Arcos-Viniegra, second grade, Troy Crossroads Elementary, Troy CCSD 30C

  • 2nd place – CharLee Jones, third grade, Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Pleasant Valley SD 62

4th – 6th grade category:

  • 1st place – Nic Schwartz, sixth grade, Pleasant Valley Middle School, Pleasant Valley SD 62

  • 2nd place – Kira Thomas, fourth grade, Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Pleasant Valley SD 62

Honorable Mention:

  • Madisyn Meadows, first grade, Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Pleasant Valley SD 62

  • Hailey Hollinshead, fourth grade, Rochester Middle School, Rochester CUSD 3A

  • Joey Staley, first grade, Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Pleasant Valley SD 62

  • Conner Wolf, sixth grade, Liberty Elementary School, Liberty CUSD 2

  • Kylei Terrell, second grade, Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Pleasant Valley SD 62

  • Haley Didiuk, third grade, Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Pleasant Valley SD 62

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