Community leaders gathered at the Y Studios on January 8 to select the winners of the Heads Up! Distracted Driving and Walking Poster Contest. Begun 13 years ago, as part of the Rye Y’s Safe Routes to School initiative, Rye High School students are asked to create posters that illustrate the dangers of distracted walking and driving and the importance of cycling safety.
This year, 56 students from Nichole Chiffriller’s three Digital Media classes participated. After all the posters were submitted, the students narrowed the field to 15 semifinalists.
The judges — Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Byrne, Mayor Josh Cohn, City of Rye Traffic & Pedestrian Safety Committee Chair Brian Dempsey, Commissioner of Public Safety Michael Kopy, Rye Arts Center Executive Director Adam Levi, City of Rye Planner Christian Miller, Rye Free Reading Room Director Chris Shoemaker, and Rye High School Principal Suzanne Kelly Short — had a difficult assignment selecting the top three, because there were so many striking posters containing powerful messages.
And the winners are…
First Place: Maggie Schmidt
Second Place: Alienna Malkani
Third Place: Liam Storz
More than an art project, Heads Up! also seeks to raise awareness. In her remarks to the judges, Ms. Chiffriller explained that the classes begin by watching the documentary “From One Second to the Next,” which chronicles the lives of four families impacted by distracted driving crashes. Many of the students wove statistics found through their own research into their poster design.
All the posters will be displayed at the Rye Free Reading Room outside the Teen Center and in an online exhibit. An opening reception and awards ceremony will be held in the Teen Center on Wednesday, January 17 from 5:30-7. Community members are welcome to attend. The first-place winning poster will also be featured in an ad in The Rye Record.
Special thanks to Joe Lamberti of Rye Brook Service Center for sponsoring the contest for the fifth year.