In recognition of April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Pace Center for Girls partnered with State Farm Insurance to advance girls’ understanding of distracted driving and safe driving skills.
Pace is committed to addressing topics that improve girls’ skills and ability to make healthy decisions and reduce harmful habits to their health, wellness, and safety. When we focus on supporting girls, they gain the power to achieve success in all areas of their lives, leading to positive outcomes for themselves, their families and communities.
Texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, and fiddling with music – all common activities of teenagers – can have catastrophic results when driving. In 2020, there were more than 48,000 driving crashes in Florida – 75 percent of which were caused by the driver being inattentive behind the wheel.
“At Pace, our holistic approach provides girls the counseling, academic courses and life-skill training they need to make safe and healthy decisions,” said Mary Marx, president and CEO of Pace Center for Girls. “Distracted driving is a public health threat, so we are thankful to State Farm for investing in Pace and partnering with us to develop this curriculum to teach our girls passenger and driver safety skills.”
From April 19 through 22, Pace hosted a week-long initiative across its 21 Florida locations where girls completed lessons, crafted art projects and heard from guest speakers including representatives from State Farm, and Cara Filler, America’s leading speaker on traffic safety and peer pressure. The service-learning opportunity was made possible thanks to a $85,000 statewide grant from State Farm Insurance.
Kiya was one of 50 girls who participated in the safety clinic at Pace Pinellas and shared, “Do not answer because it doesn’t matter if you get a text from your mom, your boyfriend or anyone. If you are driving and you answer that text, any second something could go wrong.”
“Working with the Pace girls has been a memorable and rewarding experience,” said Jose Soto, State Farm Corporate Responsibility Analyst. “The girls have an incredible abundance of talent and creativity, and our agents enjoyed the opportunity to teach them invaluable lessons about safe driving that will build a safer, stronger and better-educated community.”
The week-long programming concluded with an awareness campaign art competition. Like many of Pace’s programs, art was intentionally woven into curriculum as a powerful tool of expression. From the competition, three winners will be selected, and the statewide winning art piece will be displayed at the Florida State Capitol.