Pickerington Times-Sun

AAA Ohio grant to help fund North after prom activities

Pickerington High School North has received a $250 Year-End Celebration Grant from AAA Ohio Auto Club to help fund a substance-free after prom event, Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12.

Each year AAA Ohio awards 10 grants in an effort to encourage substance-free, year-end celebrations at area high schools.

"We have found that our after prom is the fun event to go to after the prom," said Janet Thiede, after prom program adviser at Pickerington High School North.

"We know that we cannot reach every child, but we do our best to make our event the party of choice," Thiede said.

Statistics show car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teenagers. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen crash deaths peak during the late spring and summer, when teens do most of their driving.

Spring is also the time when local high schools hold their proms. Ohio Department of Public Safety crash statistics show that during April and May, 2012:

* Nearly 10,000 16- to 20-year-olds were involved in crashes on Ohio's roads.

* More than 150 of these drivers were under the influence of alcohol.

AAA Ohio officials said the organization is a strong advocate for the "None for Under 21" message for teens. The Year-End Celebration Grant Program helps support this message AAA officials said.

To date, about $22,000 has helped more than 120 schools hold substance-free celebrations.

"Our students, when surveyed, have told us that they appreciate the safe place to have fun with their friends," Thiede said.

AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services.

Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers, organization officials said.

More information about AAA clubs can be found online at AAA.com.