Booster Seat Safety Program Held At Northside Elementary

05-07-2008 Booster Seat Safety Program Held At Northside Elementary

For Immediate Release
May 07, 2008
Contact: Julie Brewer

Northside Elementary
Ollie and Northside students.
Northside Elementary
Northside students give Ollie high fives after the presentation.
Northside Elementary
Ollie measures Northside students.


DeKalb— On May. 07, students at Northside Elementary received a visit from a very special guest. Ollie Otter, Tennessee’s booster seat and seatbelt safety mascot, visited the school to promote the use of booster seats, encourage students to wear their seatbelts and to raise awareness of roadway construction site safety. Ollie’s message to the students was “Under 4'9", it's Booster Time!”

Ollie was joined by several volunteers working to increase booster seat and seatbelt usage among Tennessee’s elementary school children.

Julie Brewer presented the program to Northside Elementary’s 3 grade students. Gayle Redmon helped coordinate the safety education event at the school.

Additional volunteers at Northside Elementary included Donnie and Peggy Allen, volunteers with TTC McMinnville; and Andy Forrester, Director with TTC McMinnville.

The program is sponsored by the Tennessee Transportation Development Foundation (TTDF) – a non-profit group established by the Tennessee Road Builders Association – and the TRBA Ladies Auxiliary. The statewide safety education program will make presentations in all 95 counties in Tennessee this year.

The Ollie Otter program communicates that Tennessee state law requires the use of a booster seat until a child is 4-feet-9 inches tall or 9 years old. An orange and white construction site barrel, representing Ollie’s home, is on display to teach the children the importance of roadway safety near construction work zones. The fully-costumed Ollie Otter character encourages children to wear their seatbelts and educates them about Tennessee’s booster seat law.

“Our goal is to try to educate children through the Ollie Otter program about Tennessee’s child restraint law,” said Carol Coleman, chairperson of the TTDF.

“Hopefully, children will encourage their caregivers, or whoever is driving them around, to make better safety decisions.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2005, an average of five children ages 14 and younger were killed and 640 were injured in motor vehicle crashes every day. The use of booster seats compared to the use of adult seatbelts alone lowers the risk of injury to children in crashes by 59 percent.

The Ollie Otter program is implemented by a network of statewide volunteers who work through the Tennessee Tech University BusinessMedia Center in Cookeville to coordinate the presentations. The unprecedented educational safety campaign was launched last May.

“Through the use of emerging business technologies, we’re able to train volunteers online how to go into elementary schools and promote roadway safety through the entertaining Ollie Otter character,” said Julie Brewer, program coordinator with the TTU BusinessMedia Center. “We are so grateful for the wonderful network of concerned volunteers who are really the ones making this campaign possible.”

To prepare volunteers to conduct the in-school presentations and perform as the costumed Ollie Otter, an online training course has been developed by the TTU BusinessMedia Center through the Tennessee Board of Regents Online Continuing Education program. ROCE hosts the online course and certifies the completion of the class.

The Ollie Otter program uses educational materials, such as posters, bookmarks and an interactive Web site, to inform Tennessee children and their caregivers about seatbelt safety.

To sign up as a volunteer, schedule a visit from Ollie, or learn more about Tennessee’s booster seat and seatbelt safety campaign, visit

The Ollie Otter Program teaches booster seat and seat belt education in elementary schools. The program provides classroom materials statewide. To contribute to the program click here for more information.

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