The New School - El Nuevo Colegio

This year, our initiative, KRASH, looks for a more precise message based on the conception that using our minds correctly and focusing all our thoughts on a safe ride will help us reduce the accident rate on the roads.

The ideas

The ideas for this project came out of last year. Both in and outside our classes, we discussed how our mindset affects the decisions we make in terms of our behavior on the roads, how fast to go in a school area, when to cross the street (regardless of whether or not the traffic light is red for pedestrians), why we might reply to a text message while driving on the highway, etcetera. During these discussions, we said that our mindset could affect the way we perceive our actions ‒ no matter what information we have around us. In other words, we think about ourselves as victims, not as responsible people, so every situation, whether incident or accident, becomes a difficult situation in which a solution is far off.

Last year, during the first part of this project, by means of surveys and testimonials, we found that people are less critical when evaluating their own mistakes and misconceptions, so there is no full coherence between our thoughts and our actions, which reduces any possibility of having a proper road culture. This made us think about having an opportunity to give a message to make people feel responsible for their own wellbeing during their interaction with others, whether they’re walking, driving or waiting for the traffic light to turn. We wanted to make ourselves aware of how we communicate with others on the road, so our actions affect the message we give. We decided to show our city how we are responsible for our own safety.

This idea was adopted by 8th graders too, not for the city, but for our school. They imagined what every member of The New School Community must regard in order to be responsible for road safety during our school day. Then, they thought about how to teach the school community – students, teachers and parents – that being safe on the roads depends on good habits and a self-preservation mindset.

The initiatives

Last year, we were just a group of students that started up an initiative to make people reflect about how important it is to be aware of where we are and what we are doing when driving or walking around. We considered that the most important cause of accidents on the road is the permanent distraction, the lack of awareness, which makes vial interaction dangerous. So, KRASH – Keep safe on the Road to Aim towards a Safer Humanity – was born.

This year, our initiative looks for a more precise message, based on the conception that using our mind correctly and focusing all our thoughts on a safe ride will help us reduce the accident rate on the roads.

• One of the strategies to spread the message is a series of video clips, where the slogan “Use your mind to protect your life” is displayed in different languages (Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Arabic, Italian and Hindi), in order to talk to people in their mother tongue. These videos were uploaded to the school’s YouTube channel, as well as shared on the school’s Facebook account. We invite you to watch them and share them. Help us to reach more people worldwide!

• Another initiative has been the creation of KRASH social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There, every follower will find different memes and tweets made by us to make youth think about how certain habits could be irresponsible and harmful while travelling home, going to school, picking someone up, etc. Our followers are mostly students and teachers who are active drivers, and we trust that our intervention relates to the way they prefer to be advised about having a safe day.

• We have created a blog – KRASH Movement – to share some of our personal thoughts and reflections about the project and how it has affected us in our vial communication with others.

• We have designed some hoardings with short messages to be displayed at strategic places in the city. The plan is to attract an important number of viewers on the roads. This activity is planned to be developed with the support of the school, so our designs are under revision.

• Our 8th grade peers have had various brainstorming sessions to look for the best ways to teach our community which habits and thoughts are effective to keep us safe. In these sessions, they proposed strategies and resources to make some mini-courses called “Tips for Staying Alive”. The target public is our school community and the aim is to show people the risks to consider when making specific decisions about mobility.

• Finally, this year we will make the first Road Security Mini Show, a sort of showroom during the school’s Brain Work Fair, to take advantage of a school event where all the community is invited. We will show through different performances how we make things happen, especially when we are moving and our mind is not present. This event is coming soon, on May 24th, so we will let you know how it goes :)

To wrap up, this experience has been very enriching for us, the students and teachers, because we feel more responsible for the mindset of our community when we give correct and constant advice to help others to keep safe. It made us think less about just ourselves and it expanded our sense of belonging by affecting positively all the people around us. Also, it was quite interesting to think of several strategies to make roads safer for everyone, and bunches of ideas flew out, so we rediscovered our imagination and creativity. Also, it was amazing to create more proactive ways to get others to give a nice message. That allowed us to connect with their interests, needs and ways of communicating. Our own reactions on the road have changed as well. We have become more responsible and consistent in our actions and words. We realized that our habits have an effect on the decisions of others.

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