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First annual Texting Awareness Week begins Nov. 29; guest speaker Wed. night
Saturday, November 20, 2010

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More on the guest speaker Amanda Umschied>>

On Monday, Nov. 29, SUNY Fredonia’s Students of Advanced Leadership Development Program (SALDP) will launch the first annual “Texting Awareness Week: 1 txt 1 life.” The campaign will inform students of the dangers of texting while driving and to encourage them to choose safe driving practices. There will be two separate events held on Tuesday, Nov. 30 and Wednesday, Dec. 1.

SALDP has partnered with Allstate Insurance Company to bring their nationwide initiative “X the Txt” events to campus as a part of Texting Awareness Week. Allstate has provided SALDP with a kit that allows students to give a thumb print which symbolizes giving a "thumbs up to not texting while driving.” The kit also provides thumb bands stating “txting kills” that will be given away during the events.

The Nov. 30 event will be held in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students will be asked to pledge to “X the Txt’ and not engage in texting while driving.

Students have another opportunity to “X the Txt” on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in McEwen Hall's first floor by the Buster Brown Bean Company. Then, at 8 p.m., national speaker Amanda Umschied will appear in the in the Multipurpose Room and share the dangers of texting and driving, as well as how it has changed her life. Amanda’s 19-year-old sister was killed May 16, 2009, in a car accident. She was texting Amanda when her truck entered the median, flipped and ejected her from the vehicle. Since the accident, Amanda has felt compelled to share her story of the dangers of texting and driving with young adults through public education.

Amanda speaks on behalf of her sister and txtresponsibly.org, which raises awareness of the dangers of texting while driving and strives to prevent harmful injury or death caused by the act of texting recklessly. Her story has also been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine.

According to a recent Allstate Foundation study, 49% of driving teens admit to being extremely distracted by texting and instant messaging while driving. Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions facing drivers today, particularly among teens, whose number-one killer is car crashes.

Texting Awareness Week is sponsored by SALDP, the Interactive Theatre Society, and the Blue Ice Step Team. Both events are free and students, faculty and community members are all encouraged to attend.

To learn more, contact Advance Leadership Development member Megan Allers at alle0600@fredonia.edu or (716) 908-7632.

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