Bucks Team Up with Wisconsin Students to Discourage Use of Mobile Phones While Driving

FBLA and FFA members from Belmont High School
FBLA and FFA members from Belmont High School

The Milwaukee Bucks supported Wisconsin Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) in their efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of operating a mobile device while driving.

CTSOs from high schools across Wisconsin participated in a contest to come up with the best school and community campaigns to educate their peers, families and neighbors, and to get them to commit to driving without the distraction of cell phones. To recognize the hard work of the students, the Bucks hosted the schools with the five most successful campaigns to an exclusive experience on Saturday, Jan. 25, prior to the game vs. the Atlanta Hawks.

The finalists for the project were students from Appleton North, Beaver Dam, Belmont, Waunakee and Wausau West high schools, and they joined the Bucks at the Cousins Center Training Facility for an afternoon of educational programing before heading over to the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the game that evening. They participated in a career panel discussion with special Bucks guests who highlighted numerous career pathways available to students, played interactive games with prizes such as high-fiving NBA players or sitting on team benches at the game, a tour of the practice facility, and a group photo opportunity. The top three schools – Wausau, Beaver Dam and Belmont – had their campaign videos shown pre-game and were recognized on-court at halftime.

“The Bucks organization has a long-standing relationship with CTSO and supports the all-important mission to educate students on the dangers of operating a mobile device while driving,” said Steve Tarachow, the Bucks’ director of group programs. “We commend the achievements of those student leaders who spearheaded this initiative in pursuit of making a positive difference in their schools and communities.”

“The collaboration between all six CTSOs and the partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks developed an innovative approach to promote safe driving in our communities throughout the state,” said Sara Baird, assistant director of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Career and Technical Education. “We are proud of the local community campaigns that answered our call to action.”

The top-three projects include:

In first place, FCCLA and DECA members from Wausau West High School developed a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of using mobile devices while driving by utilizing school-wide messaging through Facebook, Twitter and email. As a result, 1,300 students took the pledge, and there was additional support from parents.


In second place, FBLA members from Beaver Dam High School coordinated an awareness campaign with numerous local businesses (Walmart, Subway and Culver’s) to offer incentives to 600 students who participated in a Spirit Week for a “Don’t Text and Drive” campaign. The culmination of the week included 285 students taking the pledge to “Never Text and Drive.” Extensive promotional materials like posters, flyers, athletic program advertisements, Facebook and Twitter posts, and in-school events resulted in high participation.

In third place, FBLA and FFA members from Belmont High School used Facebook, Twitter, parent newsletters and an in-school pledge board to reach their entire district of over 1,500 individuals. Students and community members wore yellow clothing to support an awareness day about texting and driving. Promotional T-shirts were distributed with the slogan “One Text or Call Could End it All” and numerous statistics about the dangers of using mobile devices while driving.

“Congratulations to students in Wisconsin CTSOs who developed projects to remind themselves, their peers and the public about the dangers of mobile phone distractions while driving,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Their efforts show the leadership, skill, development and community service ethic that are a part of career and technical education and the supporting student organizations.”

More information on Career and Technical Student Organizations and related Career and Technical Education programs are available online at http://cte.dpi.wi.gov/cte_ctso or by contacting Sara Baird, DPI assistant director of Career and Technical Education, (608) 266-9609. Additional information pertaining to the Milwaukee Bucks and program details should be directed to Steve Tarachow, director of group programs, (414) 227-0539.