Having just returned from an exciting weekend in Long Beach, Calif., Carson High School students are working on their grant proposal for 2005-06 Project Ignition.
It's a proposal that freshman and sophomore students who attended this year's Project Ignition finals think will improve their chances next year.
The winning high school, from Mooresville, Ind., received a $10,000 grant for its work. That school, where three students died in the past year, focused on reaching students as individuals, instead of as an entire body. The project provided Carson High's video production class with ideas for next year.
"We want to have more involvement in the classrooms," said Carson High video production teacher Brian Reedy. "We want to have more interaction and smaller projects."
Yet Carson High received accolades of its own. Their Every Second Counts project received a special award for best action sequence. According to freshman Alex Peckham, judges liked the way students filmed their mock accident from the tragedy to the hospital to the courtroom scene. The Every Second Counts project also received runner-up for best grass-roots effort.
"We had so many people involved in this project from around the community," Alex said. "I think they really appreciated that."
Carson High student Kevin Petersen received special recognition for his work in the film. Petersen was paralyzed from the waist down in an accident three years ago.
"(Kevin) talked about how important it is to make a difference," Reedy said. "He explained why driver education is important, and, of course, he's living proof of what happens."
Students attended six workshops Thursday through Saturday. Many of the classes focusing on aspects of film-making, like marketing, editing and special topics.
"I think the service-learning workshops were the best," freshman Alejandra Melgarejo said. "They helped with ideas for our project and gave us stuff to work with next year."
This was the first year for State Farm's Project Ignition competition. Carson High was picked as one of 25 schools to participate from more than 500 applicants nationwide. Students had to put together a production about student driving safety.
"There was a lot of bonding this weekend," Alejandra said. "We'll all be in the same class next year, and it's good to know each other very well. We all work well together."
Now it's time to get to work - the proposal for Project Ignition II is due by the end of next week.
n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.
Carson High students who attended Project Ignition's awards ceremony in Long Beach:
• Alejandra Melgarejo
• Heidi Flansberg
• Tyler Bourns
• Greg Saunders
• Alex Peckham
• Lydia Peri
• Kevin Petersen