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SomaliCAN Wins National Contest Sponsored by Allstate and CDC
by Jibril Mohamed   
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Last edited: Thursday, February 11, 2010
Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2010

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SomaliCAN Wins National Parents Are The Key Contest for a $10,000.00 Grant- By: Jibril M Hirsi

SomaliCAN has won Ten Thousand Dollars thanks to the Parents Are The Contest sponsored by the Allstate Foundation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


In marking the end of the Parents Are the Key Campaign in Ohio and Arkansas, the Allstate Foundation announced in January that SomaliCAN has won the month-long Parents Are The Key Contest. Decided by online voters, the Allstate Foundation donated the money to the charity that got the most votes on Meghann Dowd of Allstate Foundation announced the winner in an email to participating organizations. “We have tallied the votes and would like to announce the winner…Somali Community Access Network: SomaliCAN of Ohio. Congratulations!” read the e-mail in part.


The grant marks the end of a pilot campaign to promote the safety of teen drivers in Columbus, Ohio and Little Rock, Arkansas that began in the Fall of 2009. SomaliCAN was part of the campaign representing Ohio’s large Somali community.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is helping parents play a key role in keeping their teens safe on the road.

Through the “Parents Are the Key” campaign, CDC, with funding from The Allstate Foundation, offers parents tools and proven steps for reducing teen driving injuries and deaths.


 Last year, 121 teens were killed in motor vehicle crashes on Ohio roads. To help prevent these deadly crashes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has brought the “Parents Are the Key” campaign to Columbus. CDC has created a local partnership to conduct a pilot test of the campaign and educate area parents about their important role in keeping teens safe behind the wheel. The pilot test was also conducted in Central Arkansas.

“Car crashes take thousands of young lives every year, mainly because all new drivers lack experience,” said Dr. Grant Baldwin, Director of CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. “All young drivers – even straight ‘A’ students – face greater risk of a deadly crash. Parents can reduce the risk by actively managing and monitoring their teen’s driving. This is a proven fact.”

The “Parents Are the Key” campaign encourages parents to take several simple, life-saving steps to prevent teen crashes:

• Talk with your teen about safe driving early and often. Emphasize your concern for their wellbeing.

• Extend your teen’s supervised driving period. Schedule as many supervised practice driving hours as possible.

• Understand and enforce Ohio’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws. GDL laws help new drivers gain skills under low-risk conditions and are proven to reduce teen crashes and deaths.

• Enforce the rules with a parent-teen driving contract.


CDC has worked in partnership with The Allstate Foundation and other national and local organizations to create the campaign. To spread the word in Columbus, a coalition of diverse organizations has committed time and resources to reaching area parents with “Parents Are the Key” materials. Groups include Center for Injury Research and Policy at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital; Columbus Public Health, Franklin County Safe Communities; Franklin County Board of Health; Grant Medical Center-Trauma Program; National Safety Council, Central Ohio Chapter; Nationwide Insurance; Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics; Ohio Department of Health; Ohio Department of Public Safety; Ohio State University Medical Center, Level I Trauma Center; Riverside Methodist Hospital Trauma Services; Somali Community Access Network: SomaliCAN; and YMCA of Central Ohio.

 “SomaliCAN is honored to win this national prize. We thank all of our supporters who voted and all participants in the contest. Most of all, we thank the AllState Foundation for supporting the Parents Are The Key Campaign and Centers for Disease Control for Columbus is pleased to be one of the first communities to work with CDC to implement the campaign,” said Cathy Collins-Taylor, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. “We’re encouraging all community members to join the effort and spread the word.”


Web Site: SomaliCAN Wins National Contest

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