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11 San Ramon Valley 'Street Smarts' Poster Contest Winners Announced

Hundreds attended an awards ceremony honoring the winners on March 12.

(Speakers from L-to-R: Chris Truebridge, Sunset Development Co.; Rachel Hurd, SRVUSD School Board Pres., Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen; Danville Councilmember Newell Arnerich; and San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson) Photo by Alex Lopez
(Speakers from L-to-R: Chris Truebridge, Sunset Development Co.; Rachel Hurd, SRVUSD School Board Pres., Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen; Danville Councilmember Newell Arnerich; and San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson) Photo by Alex Lopez
Information submitted by Street Smarts—

The 10th annual Street Smarts Storybook Poster Contest Awards Ceremony on March 12, 2014, drew over 400 students and community members to the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center in San Ramon. The event showcased the creativity of over 500 students who submitted poster entries that focused on the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bike, skateboard, or scooter.

This is the tenth year of the San Ramon Valley Street Smarts Poster Contest, which is sponsored by Sunset Development Company. For the first three years, students submitted posters on various traffic safety themes. Then in 2008, the contest shifted to a Storybook Poster Contest. Local author Dana Mentink writes a fun story for elementary school-aged children that teaches important traffic safety information. Children choose one to three pages to illustrate, in the hopes that their drawing will be chosen for inclusion in the final storybook.

At the March 12 Awards Ceremony, this year’s eleven winners were announced. Before the event, all 523 poster submissions were on display, and the proud artists posed with their work. The Awards Ceremony began at 5:00 p.m., with former professional cyclist Steven Cozza serving as Master of Ceremonies. Steven shared photos of himself riding his bike and even of him after a crash, stressing that helmets have saved his life many times. The winning artists, listed below, were announced by San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson, Danville Councilmember Newell Arnerich, Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen, San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board President Rachel Hurd, and Sunset Development Company Vice President of Planning Chris Truebridge:

2014 Storybook Poster Contest Winners
Cover:  Darpan Singh, Grade 3, Coyote Creek Elementary School
Page 1:  Daphne Chan, Grade 3, Tassajara Hills Elementary School
Page 2:  Phedora Layanto, Grade 5, Montevideo Elementary School
Page 3:  Alexandra Ren, Grade 4, Montevideo Elementary School
Page 4:  Aishwarya Agashe, Grade 2, Quail Run Elementary School
Page 5:  Eric Huang, Grade 5, Creekside Elementary School
Page 6:  Aditya Pachpande, Grade 2, Montevideo Elementary School
Page 7:  Pari Saluja, Grade 3, Country Club Elementary School
Page 8:  Chloe Chan, Grade 5, Tassajara Hills Elementary School
Page 9:  Sumukh Cadpakar, Grade 5, Quail Run Elementary School
Page 10:  Rishika Vinnakota, Grade 5, Montair Elementary School

During the presentation, the speakers shared important helmet safety information with the audience, including the following facts:

  *   Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury by as much as 88 percent.
  *   In California, children under 18 are required to wear a helmet when riding a bike, skateboard, rollerblades, or a scooter.
  *   If a helmet has been in a crash, or if it shows any sign of damage, like a crack, you should throw it out and get a new one.

After the winners were announced, Danville Councilmember Renee Morgan and San Ramon Councilmember Dave Hudson read the winning raffle numbers. Students walked away with great prizes, like tickets to an Oakland A’s game and passes to Q-ZAR Laser Tag. Then, immediately after the ceremony, author Dana Mentink and the eleven student winners signed copies of this year’s book for eager fans.

The storybook is distributed to thousands of San Ramon Valley children as a tool to teach traffic safety. “Since 2008, over 35,000 copies of Street Smarts storybooks have been given to local children,” stated Cathy DeLuca, Street Smarts Coordinator. “That’s the power of having a Storybook Poster Contest instead of just a Poster Contest -– not only do the participants learn the traffic safety concepts, but then those concepts are shared with the thousands of other children who read the book.” Starting the week ofMarch 17, complimentary copies of the storybook can be picked up at the Danville and San Ramon Community Centers and the Danville, San Ramon, and Dougherty Station public libraries.

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