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Injury prevention center teaches safety through creative methods

San Antonio (May 9, 2003) — San Antonio elementary school students ages 4 to 11 recently created more than 3,100 drawings expressing what they believe being safe means. The project was part of the fifth annual "How I Stay Safe" drawing contest, sponsored by the South Texas Injury Prevention and Research Center (STIPRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Three of the 24 winners will be honored at a school assembly at 9 a.m. Monday, May 12, at Schulze Elementary School, 9131 Yett.

The STIPRC, in cooperation with 24 elementary schools in the San Antonio and Harlandale independent school districts, developed the safety awareness program as an educational tool for children and teachers. Children are encouraged to illustrate important safety issues such as fire prevention, seat belt use and stranger danger. Through the program, STIPRC proves that teaching injury prevention using fun, innovative methods appeals to kids.

STIPRC publishes the winning drawings in an annual wall calendar for each school district and awards winners with prizes donated by STIPRC board chairman Ronald Stewart, M.D. Prizes include bicycles, helmets, Toys 'R' Us gift cards, season passes to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and passes to the San Antonio Zoo.

Luis Vera Jr., a member of University Health System's Board of Managers and a Schulze Elementary alumnus, will help with the presentation. Retired firefighter and safety educator Conrad Gonzalez is scheduled to perform a rock-n-roll song version of the fire safety catchphrase "Stop, Drop, and Roll."

STIPRC promotes awareness of injury prevention in at-risk communities through a network of volunteers, businesses, collaborations with print and television media, production and distribution of printed materials, outreach to South Texas schools and research initiatives. These programs are conducted in partnership with the University Health System as a component of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, a national program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Contact: Will Sansom, (210) 567-2570, or Kristina Martinez, 567-7841