U of M's Safe-driver Program Wins Awards, but More Important, Save Lives University News
For release: September 30, 2008

For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843

The Alive at 25 program at the University of Memphis has been awarded the Best Performance Award for its outstanding training efforts by the National Safety Council. This award is presented to those training centers that lead the field in training safer motorists. The program is administered by the University’s division of Professional & Continuing Education.  This is the third year in a row that the program has received national recognition.

Alive at 25 was started locally in 1996 after a rash of car crashes resulted in the deaths of several teenagers in Shelby County.  Since then, well over 20,000 high school students in Shelby County have gone through the Alive at 25 curriculum, and only one of those participants has died in a car crash.

Wayne Gutch
U of M professor Wayne Gutch teaches Alive at 25 to high school students each year.
The class is designed to teach responsible driving to high school students.
Photo by A.J. Wolfe/The Commercial Appeal.

During the 2008-09 academic year, Alive at 25 will be taught to ninth grade students in more than 15 public and independent schools in Shelby and Tipton counties. The City of Germantown, the Town of Collierville, the City of Millington, and the City of Bartlett all fund the program for their public high schools.

“We are honored by the award, of course, but we are most excited by the response we have received from schools in the area,” said Vicki Murrell, director of Professional & Continuing Education. “Economic times are hard, but not one school or city government has pulled this program from its budget. We believe that demonstrates the value of the Alive at 25 program for each teenager who is able to experience it.”

In addition to being in the schools, the Alive at 25 course is also offered as an open-enrollment class for anyone age 14-19. Another class that may be of interest to parents is the Alive at 25 for Parents course, which helps parents understand and deal with the risks that new drivers face.

More information about these and other courses offered by the U of M’s Professional and Continuing Education program is available by phone at 901-678-6000 or online at Web site http://umce.memphis.edu

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