By Eric Wilcox
Utah FCCLA State President
The student body of Westlake High School was recently shocked by the tragic traffic-related accident involving an alumni student, placing her in intensive care for nearly a month. The surrounding community of Saratoga Springs acted to serve her devastated family. Informed that this student was a former FCCLA member, as well as learning of our chapter adviser’s recent traffic accident, members were encouraged to create a service project which could peer educate Westlake students, their families, and the community on traffic safety knowledge.
A strong committee of Utah FCCLA members formed the “Gift of Life” Family Traffic Safety Fair, informing our community that lives saved from obeying traffic safety is the “ultimate gift.” The event focused on one of FCCLA’s 11 National Programs, FACTS: Families Acting for Community Traffic Safety. Through FACTS, FCCLA members can strive to save lives by educating both youth and adults on traffic safety.
Members contacted many safety-related organizations, such as Zero Fatalities, National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), Utah Organ Donors, Utah County Health Department, Saratoga Springs Police Department, Alpine School District Transportation, and more. An FCCLA member would accompany this organization to present on various safety aspects, or created a unique booth complete with research, statistics, and activities. The Safety Fair could appeal to every family, where car seat safety, teen alcohol prevention, and adult safe driving practices could all be taught.
The Hank’s family at the Safety Fair
Each classroom within Westlake High School was encouraged to participate in the “Gift of Life” service event by creating a gift basket in honor of a local or personal traffic accident victim. These were displayed at the Family Traffic Safety Fair and sold through a silent auction. In connection with this event, Westlake FCCLA held an annual community holiday fundraiser based off the novel The Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright. The Christmas Jars service event, created by FCCLA, has grown to become Westlake High’s main holiday project.
Through fundraising, Wright was able to fly from Virginia to Saratoga Springs, UT to give a presentation on service and give a special invitation to Westlake High students to attend the “Gift of Life” Safety Fair on December 3, 2012. Evaluation was recorded from each attendee through a prize drawing/feedback sheet, which asked how each attendee could now improve their family and community’s safety.
Jason Wright and Eric Wilcox
In a brand new school, it’s been fantastic to see how our FCCLA chapter has developed extensive service projects which will grow into community traditions. The school and community of Westlake High are continually impressed by the great leadership FCCLA members display.