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On Parents as Teachers Day, help teenagers be better drivers

Updated: December 9, 2012 7:23PM

On Parents as Teachers Day, help teenagers become better drivers

Nov. 8 is Parents as Teachers Day, and I encourage parents to be great teachers to their teen drivers.

Inexperience is the leading factor for teen crashes. The more experience our teen drivers have, the better drivers they become. I lost my father in a crash involving a teen driver, and I don’t want anyone to experience the kind of pain my family has endured.

I manage the HEARTS Network, an initiative of the National Safety Council and The Allstate Foundation that gives me a platform for sharing my story so I can help reduce teen-related crashes. I encourage parents to ban all cellphone use — handheld and hands-free — set a zero-passenger restriction including siblings, and ban driving after 10 p.m. (earlier is better).

While these may seem like extreme rules to some, distractions such as passengers and cellphone use and nighttime driving are leading factors of teen crashes. Coaching shouldn’t stop once teens become fully licensed. The first year is the most dangerous for new drivers, so it’s important for parents to continue riding shotgun. This helps ensure teens continue using safe driving behaviors and helps parents curb any newly formed bad habits.

Parents may not believe it, but the No. 1 influence on teen driving behavior is their parents. These steps will help parents be strong coaches throughout the learning process and help us make our roadways safer.

I implore parents to take advantage of Parents as Teachers Day and spend time with their teens behind the wheel. Doing so can help save lives and prevent other families from suffering the same loss as mine.

Charlene Sligting

Victim advocate, HEARTS Network


Al Gore is at it again — now, linking Hurricane Sandy & global warming

Here we go again. Al Gore is blaming global warming for Hurricane Sandy.

As told to us by competent people, events like this are century occurrences. So is Gore telling us every 100 years we have a global warming threat? If Gore were in Europe when America was discovered by Europeans, he would still lay claim that the Earth was flat. He would use as evidence that of the thousands who left to America, very few returned because they fell off the Earth. All Gore wants is to make money on the fiction that man is causing global warming while REAL scientific evidence says the opposite. But Gore likes to use proven manipulated data that is designed to favor his claim as true science.

All I gotta say is I am really really glad he was never our president. He would have actually made Obama look better. Gore is a fool, and he thinks the rest of us are bigger fools.

Manfred W. Czymmek


Grateful to all for success of book sale for Gail Borden Foundation

It couldn’t have happened without YOU!

Our Gail Borden Public Library Foundation Book Sale was a tremendous success, grossing over $28,000, which will be used for future library projects and activities.

The book sale could not have happened without the hard work and support of our community. We received an overwhelming number of donated books and media from library patrons in response to our book sale. After each newsletter, our sorting room was overflowing with great books! Thank you, donators.

More than 25 volunteers — undaunted by the size of the job — worked for nine months, classifying books, packing them in boxes and labeling them. We planned for 650 boxes of books and ended up with more than 1,000! Thank you, sorters.

Members of the St. Edward High School football team joined with more than 60 other volunteers to move those boxes to the book sale room tables and unpack them for display. Then our volunteers during the four-day sale worked hard to keep the tables neat and orderly, constantly restocking them. Other volunteers made sure the check-out procedure was efficient and friendly. Thank you, sales people.

Costs were defrayed by monetary or in-kind contributions from several places, including “the cleaning company,” Elgin Corrugated Box, and Elgin Fresh Market. Thanks for making our sale so profitable. Over the 10 months of planning, the Gail Borden staff was incredibly generous with their time, effort, support and expertise. Thanks to the staff for helping us so much!

And it was the community who came to the sale and supported it in such a grand way that made the Foundation’s Book Sale so successful. Thank you to the exceptional Gail Borden Library patrons!

Jean Bednar and Karen Schock

Book sale co-chairs


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