Willimantic – Four public service videos submitted by EASTCONN’s Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT) high school students are among 15 finalists in the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles’ annual Teen Safe Driving Video Contest.
Two videos by ACT students are in the overall Top 10 in the DMV-Travelers Teen Safe Driving Video contest, while two additional ACT videos have also earned a spot in the contest’s Top 5 Multicultural-Diversity Award category. To view all DMV video finalists on YouTube, search for teensafedriving12.
The contest is intended to help save lives by raising awareness and communicating the importance of behind-the-wheel safety to Connecticut’s teenage drivers, using 25-second, student-made public service commercials that will air across a variety of media.
This year’s student-designed contest theme, “Steer Your Friends in the Right Direction,” drew 114 entries that involved nearly 350 students statewide. The video contest is open to all Connecticut high school students, who compete for $15,000 in prize money for their high schools, provided by Travelers insurance. Five overall winners will be announced in April, in addition to a winner in the new Multicultural-Diversity category.
DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala, Jr., Connecticut’s Attorney General George Jepsen, Travelers Executive Vice President Robert C. Brody, nine students and 15 others judged the submissions and chose the Top 10 finalists. Contest judges also chose five video finalists for the new Multicultural-Diversity category.
“The videos send very powerful and persuasive messages to all drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, but hopefully they will have the greatest impact on our young drivers,” said Jepsen in a press release. “These students have done excellent work in trying to caution fellow students to stay safe behind the wheel and this contest is well-deserved recognition for their efforts.”
ACT is the only school in the state whose entry has made the Top 10 each year since the DMV video contest began seven years ago. This is the second year in a row that ACT has had two videos among the DMV’s Top 10 finalists. Two years ago, ACT’s student video won First Place in the contest, and last year they took third place.
ACT, which enrolls about 140 students in grades 9-12, submitted a total of eight videos to the DMV contest this year, four in the general category and four in the Multicultural-Diversity category. This year, ACT videos “Real Heroes” and “Don’t Cut Your Friendship Short” made it to the finals, and “Joy Ride” and “Don’t Talk and Drive” were finalists in the Multicultural-Diversity category.
“Submitting student video entries to the DMV contest has become an exciting annual tradition at ACT,” says Principal Tracy Pelletier. “ACT students have distinguished themselves by having at least one video among the contest’s Top 10 finalists every year since the contest began, which brings out strong feelings of pride among our students and staff,” she said.
Five overall winners will be announced at an April 7th ceremony, when prizes ranging from $5,000 for first place to $1,000 for fifth place will be awarded. A $1,000 first-place winner will also be chosen in the new Multicultural-Diversity category.
To learn more about ACT and its Audio/Video program, contact ACT Principal Tracy Pelletier at 860-465-5636, or at tpelletier@eastconn.org. Visit www.eastconn.org/act