MRPC News Release

For immediate release
Feb. 6, 2016

For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge, bprigge@meramecregion.org
or Roxanne Murphy, rmurphy@meramecregion.org
or call at (573) 265-2993

Eleven attend roadway safety workshop


Rolla High School student Megan Feeler rides a trike around an obstacle course in MRPC’s parking lot while wearing “drunk” goggles to simulate the effects intoxication would have on vision.

ST. JAMES—Students and educators, Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) staff, and representatives from the Central District Committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) gathered at MRPC Jan. 29 to help schools learn how to plan safety days, docudramas and learn about highway safety issues, such as seatbelts and distracted driving.

The free workshop was hosted at MRPC, 4 Industrial Drive, St. James, and coordinated by MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge, who is a member of the Central District Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. Prigge also directed the workshop.

"Planning a safety day event or a docudrama can be a daunting task, but these workshops help take some of the stress out of the effort,” Prigge said. "Participants are provided with a plan and a timeline for organizing.”

Lebanon students and sponsors spent the morning with Becky Lenon, MoDOT Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, along with Kacey Buschjost, MoDOT Traffic and Highway Safety, and Prigge, learning how to engage students with activities in safety day events.

The morning session was spent on planning a safety day–whether at school or for a community. Participants learned about resources to assist in the effort and practiced activities that demonstrated the impact of impaired driving, distracted driving and texting and driving.

Students and teachers sorted blocks, playing cards and tried stacking plastic cups while wearing “drunk” goggles after performing tasks without the goggles. Participants also used calculators to do math problems and rode a trike with the goggles. “Drunk” goggles are used to simulate the effects intoxication has on vision.

“We look at the many resources and activities available to help teach the message,” Prigge said.

The hands-on demonstrations provided examples of how to make the event fun in addition to safety oriented and memorable during events. Lenon also suggested using speaker opportunities, equipment and resources available to schools and communities.

“You have to make the event fun, but still loop back to how serious it is,” Lenon said.

Online websites, such as www.thinkfirst.missouri.edu and savemolives.com were also shared.

“Think First is a great resource to find speakers and program information,” Buschjost said. “Save Mo Lives have individual programs that are offered, as well as facts and statistics.”

During the afternoon session, participants learned how to plan docudramas.

“With the docudramas, we watch some docudrama clips to learn about different scenarios, acting tips and filming tips,” Prigge said. “Best of all, there is plenty of time for questions and sharing best practices among those in attendance."

Lebanon and Rolla High School students and their student sponsors heard from retired teacher Maggie Roberts of St. James about how to coordinate a docudrama, discuss different docudrama themes and how to involve students, emergency response agencies and community volunteers.

Roberts, who has coordinated and delivered docudramas for 15 years, emphasized the need to bring out the emotions from the student actors.

“The more real it looks, the better it is,” Roberts said. “I can be at your school to help coordinate.”

Docudrama workshops are open to educators, students, law-enforcement, EMS, fire and other interested community members.

“This is really good training if you are interested in developing safety days or docudramas for your school or community,” said Prigge. “The workshop really does the planning to develop a strong message for your event.”

Participants in the day-long event included Eric Adams, Dustin Price and Serena McReynolds from Lebanon High School and Jamie Cantrell, Megan Feeler and Haley Lenox from Rolla High School along with Roberts, Buschjost, Lenon and Prigge.

For more information about the safety days docudrama workshops, contact Bonnie Prigge at bprigge@meramecregion.org or Roxanne Murphy at rmurphy@meramecregion.org or call 573-265-2993.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 24, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion.

 

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