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NEWS RELEASES 2005-06

NEWS RELEASES 2005-06 :: FEBRUARY 8, 2006

NEW "STOP-KAT" SUPERHERO PROMOTES SCHOOL BUS SAFETY IN NORTH CAROLINA

Third graders in North Carolina public schools have a new homegrown superhero on their side to help them stay safe on and around school buses.

"Stop-Kat and the Do-Right Crew," the brain child of Onslow County high school teacher Frank Jones Jr., is featured in a new reading and activity booklet produced by the Department of Public Instruction and sponsored by the Governor's Highway Safety Program. Fifty thousand copies of the tabloid-size activity booklets were printed and are being sent to local school districts at their request. Local school districts can receive the tabloid by providing information about how their third grade teachers and third graders would receive school bus safety training along with the activity booklets. To date, more than 31,000 copies have been shipped to local school districts.

Stop-Kat and the Do-Right Crew feature a superhero cat and a group of children who help their peers do the right, safe thing on and off the school bus. The activity booklet includes information about avoiding unsafe walking areas and dangerous spaces between buses, boarding and unboarding the school buses safely and dealing with bullying on the school bus. Aimed at third grade students, the activity booklet is presented in a comic book format and includes fill-in-the-blanks, word "unscrambles"and other activities along with tips to reinforce safety on school buses.

State Superintendent June Atkinson received a signed copy of the activity booklet from Jones at a distribution kick-off earlier this week.

"Stop-Kat provides a fun way for younger students to remember the safety tips and rules that educators hope they will learn," Atkinson said. "I am grateful to the Governor's Highway Safety Program for supporting this project. I want to say a special thank you to Frank Jones for offering Stop-Kat and the Do-Right Crew to the third graders of North Carolina."

Jones, a teacher at Swansboro High School, is a native of Newark, New Jersey, and a former Marine. He also is a cartoonist who has created several publications to help students deal with safety, bullying and similar issues. At Swansboro High School, Jones has initiated an architectural and technical drafting and design program.

For more information about school bus safety, please go to www.ncbussafety.org. For information about the Stop-Kat activity booklets, please call the NC DPI Communications Division, 919.807.3450.

Click here to veiw a photo of state education officials receiving a signed copy of the "Stop-Kat" school bus safety activity booklet.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.