For almost 40 years, the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey (BIANJ) has improved the quality of life and provided support to individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain injury.

Founded in 1981 by a small group of parents whose children had sustained brain injuries, BIANJ now provides services to 10,000 New Jersey residents each year.

An important part of BIANJ’s mission is to raise public awareness through education and prevention. The U Got Brains Champion Schools program, hits that mark by challenging teams of New Jersey high school students to create peer-to-peer safe teen driving campaigns that are promoted in their schools and communities.

NJEA partners with BIANJ to support this and other programs that involve students and our members participating in public service announcement (PSA) projects that improve safety on New Jersey’s roads.

“NJEA has a long history of supporting BIANJ and the work that they do to keep our kids safe on the roads,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “We congratulate the advisors and students who produced PSA videos and are very proud of everyone in the over 60 schools that participated in the Champion Schools program this year.”

Five schools were selected to work with a professional film crew to promote their pedestrian and driving safety programs through a video clip format. Projects were judged by a panel of traffic safety professionals, educational experts and media representatives. Students and the advisers for each project were invited to view the winning videos and celebrate their accomplishments on May 20 at New Jersey Manufacturers headquarters in Ewing.

The five schools selected were:

  • Bound Brook High School-Somerset County
  • Burlington City High School-Burlington County
  • Columbia High School-Essex County
  • Hampton Academy-Burlington County
  • Riverside High School-Burlington County

BIANJ Vice President Wendy Berk spoke about the program at May 20 video awards ceremony held at New Jersey Manufacturers headquarters in Ewing.

“The Champion Schools program promotes teens teaching teens to be safe drivers,” Berk said. “We have found this messaging to be very effective. When the message is coming from a peer group, it just makes all the difference.”

Funding for the program is provided by The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety with support from founding sponsor, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company and platinum sponsor, The Allstate Foundation. Participating schools receive a cash stipend and technical support to assist with their campaigns. Advisers receive professional development hours.

To find out more about Champion Schools and view the winning videos, visit the Jersey Drives website.

Learn more about the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey here.




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