GIBSON CITY - A Gibson City Melvin-Sibley High School safe-driving initiative, "Project Ignition," is one of 10 programs selected to compete for national honors.
GCMS earned a $5,000 grant and will compete for the $10,000 first-place award next month in Philadelphia.
GCMS was the only school in Illinois selected, coordinator Judy Weber-Jones said. It also was the smallest school in the nation selected.
Project Ignition is sponsored by State Farm Insurance Cos. and the National Youth Leadership Council.
Forty-three students participated in GCMS' License to Live program, which was designed to convince students and others to buckle up and slow down.
A 2003 car accident that claimed the life of Greg Arends, 17, and seriously injured his twin, Steve, served as a stimulus for the GCMS effort.
Weber-Jones said the $5,000 will pay for expenses to enable all those involved with the program to attend the Philadelphia event.
Some, however, will not be going directly there. She said a group of GCMS students will be participating in a band trip to Florida during what is spring break. They will proceed from Florida to Philadelphia March 22-25.
There, they will display aspects of the campaign, which included a public-service commercial using school equipment and student actors; coloring contests for elementary and middle-school children; demonstrations showing the wisdom of seat-belt use and additional efforts.