Educators urged to get planning now for Road Safety Week 2016

Road Safety Week 2016 takes place 16-22 May, and teachers and child-carers are encouraged to get it in their calendar now and register for free resources. Brake, the road safety charity, which coordinates the week, is calling on educators to help save young lives and raise awareness of key road safety messages by taking part.

Road Safety Week is a great opportunity for teachers, youth workers, and early learning educators to engage children and young people in life-saving lessons and encourage safer, more responsible road use throughout the community. It's an engaging topic with plenty of scope for creative and interactive learning, while also meeting curriculum goals.

Educators can access free electronic resources and guidance to help them get involved. Go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz to register to get a free e-action pack. This will include downloadable posters to display during the Week, advice, and case studies of what other educators have done in previous years.

There are also ideas for taking part in the Week on the website, and links to useful resources from other organisations, such as the NZ Transport Agency's education portal.

Every year Brake picks a theme to focus on through its Road Safety Week media campaign. Educators can choose to run their initiative on this theme or any other road safety topic, according to their priorities.

Brake's main theme for 2016 is 'Step up for road safety'. Brake will be urging everyone to play their part in keeping our roads safe and particularly appealing to drivers to help keep vulnerable road users, like children, safe on roads.

This year Brake is encouraging early years educators to hold a Beep Beep! Day, a fun road safety day that teaches key, basic road safety messages to children aged 2-7, and also engages their parents and community.

Primary educators can hold a Giant Walk during the Week, where students walk in the community to remind drivers to slow down outside schools and homes and encourage safe walking to school.

Secondary educators can challenge their students to devise their own road safety campaign as part of the Week and share it with their peers, teachers, parents and community.

Brake is also encouraging fundraising as part of Road Safety Week, through Bright Days or other fundraising activities. A Bright Day involves everyone coming in dressed in their brightest clothes in return for a donation to Brake, whilst helping to remind drivers to look out for people on foot or bike. More fundraising ideas can be found at www.brake.org.nz/fundraise.

Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ Director said: "Road safety is a crucial issue, and educators can play a pivotal role in helping to reduce the risks children, families and young people face - by teaching road safety and raising awareness locally of community road safety issues.

"Teachers and child carers are brilliantly placed to help children and young people be safe on roads by encouraging youngsters to develop and lead their own road safety campaign. By giving children and young people ownership of such an important project, you are giving them the opportunity to explore and improve their own safety, while also meeting important curriculum goals. Children and young people all have thoughts and ideas to contribute on road danger and how to make roads safer and Road Safety Week is a great opportunity to help them to speak out on key local issues."

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