We have created an initiative to raise the awareness of the primary school students in terms of traffic rules and responsible behaviors which they need to obey when they go to the school. We created the parents’ awareness for responsible behaviors.
In the beginning of this project, we observed our school’s neighborhood for a while. This helped us to identify a few problems about traffic such as the excessive speed of the cars and the drivers’ violation of pedestrian crossings. We recognized that the pedestrians were at risk due to the irresponsible behaviors of the drivers. Therefore, we decided to focus on the pedestrians, in particular the kids.
Before developing any initiative, we were divided into groups of four and decided to work on the issue by taking responsibilities in a group. A few students conducted fieldwork around the school, and recorded the video of the school’s neighborhood while a few others had conversation with the shopkeepers around the school. Two crucial aspects emerged from the field work; first, the video showed us that the pavements around the school which the pupils needed while walking to school were filled with automobiles parked, second, we learnt from the shopkeepers a very critical incidence, in that a pupil wanted to take his ball under a car parked out of the school yard. While he was trying to take his ball, the car was ran and the pupil had a crush hazard.
The first step in our initiative was to visit the school and interview different stakeholders. We worked in groups of three; group one interviewe the teachers of the school, the second group interviewed a few parents while the third group had conversation with the pupils. We aimed to delve the traffic related problems which put the pupils at risk. We recognized that the owners of the automobiles parked at the pavements were generall parents who visited the school, we also recognized that the pupils had difficulty in crossing the street when they came to and went from school, the pupils even mentioned an elderly shopkeeper around the school who helped them to cross the street We also learnt that they did not have any traffic related course, they had only a half-page long lecture in their life sciences course book which seemed insufficient in such a setting. Based on our observations, conversations and interviews, we recognized that there was a deadly need to increase the awareness of the pupils. And the parents should be informed in terms of parking their cars around the school.
After we had determined the problems about traffic within this setting, we decided to focus more on the pupils and somewhat on the parents. Before working on our initiative, we created a poster with our slogan as “Give a Minute, Give a Life”. In our poster, we tried to arouse attention for the importance of being patient in traffic which will result in saving life. To do this, we drew a clock and we marked two different one minutes on it with a different color. The red color symbolized the deadly results if a car did not stop at red light while the green color symbolized what would happen if a car stopped at red light.
Each group created a different initiative to increase the awareness of the pupils and parents. The initiatives were as follows;
1- Game 1: we adapted a game about fruits and vegetables to traffic, we drew pictures of traffic signs which were necessary for the kids in their way to school. We aimed to teach the meaning of the traffic signs they needed to pay attention to while they were walking to school. In our game, there were ten questions and fifteen pictures. Each question was about a traffic sign presented among the pictures. The kids played the game in pairs and the one who found the correct answer needed to match the answer with the correct picture.
2- Song: we created a song about how to behave while crossing the street, the lyrics of our song aimed to teach the kids how to behave in a pedestrian crossing. We wrote the lyrics on our own and our music teacher helped us to compose the music. In this initiative, we taught the song to the kids and we sang the song together with them.
3- Game 2: we decided to teach the traffic rules. We got inspired from a computer game, in this game we basically tested the kids’ traffic knowledge, and we aimed to teach the kids what to do and what not to do in traffic. The main aim was to teach the kids the right and the safest road to use when they want to go somewhere. In this game, there is one question with two answers and these two answers have their own questions and answers which guide the students on how to follow the right and safest way.
4- Brochures: we designed two different brochures, one for kids while the second for parents. The brochure for the kids focused on informing the pupils about the traffic rules which they as pedestrians need to obey when they are in traffic while the one for parents aimed to warn them about speed limit around the school zone and parking cars at the pavements.
To conduct our initiative, we visited the school during afternoon classes. We prepared four different stations in the school yard which helped the pupils to visit each station and to practice a different exercises in each. In the first station, they sang the song together with us, in the second station they played the game in pairs while in the third one they learnt the traffic rules and the responsible behaviors they needed as a pedestrian, in the last station they played a different game. After the students visited each station, a small presents were given each and every kid as a memory of the day. At the end of the initiative, the brochure group visited a few parents and mentioned the project and handed over the brochure they prepared.
The kids really enjoyed the activities. The most outstanding feedback was that the kids were singing the song which we taught while they were leaving the school. In addition, there were two games about traffic and we decided to donate the games we created as a gift to the kids' teachers, by this way we thought that the kids would play the game whenever they want and they both enjoy themselves and increase their awareness about traffic rules.
All in all, we were really satisfied with what we did. This was the first time we did a project so it was a challenge from the beginning to the end. We believe that we have learnt how to work in groups and how to create something useful for others. We liked each and every process of the project and it was marvelous to get a product at the end of this procedure.