Three Tennessee Technology centers (TTCs) were acknowledged in their outstanding work as volunteers for the Ollie Otter Booster Seat and Seat Belt Safety program at the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) board meeting held on June 24, 2011.
TTCs Newbern, McMinnville and Morristown were highlighted for their substantial contributions. Newbern TTC won the Ollie "Super Supporter" award, an annual award initiated last year that honors vital work on behalf of the Ollie Otter program. Newbern reached nearly 5,000 children in their service area and made over 20 presentations just this past school year.
TTC Newbern Director Brian Collins facilitates the program through Cori Sutton, Dual Enrollment Recruiter. TTC Newbern was recognized for the following accomplishments: 20+ school presentations, 15+ volunteers and 4,800 children reached.
TTC McMinnville Director Warren Laux facilitates the program through Mike Garrison, Student Services Coordinator. TTC McMinnville was recognized for the following accomplishments: 15+ school presentations, 10+ volunteers and 4,000 children reached.
TTC Morristown Director Lynn Elkins facilitates the program through Michelle Davenport, Student Services Coordinator. TTC Morristown was recognized for the following accomplishments: 15+ school presentations, 10+ volunteers and 3,700 children reached.
The Ollie Otter program is implemented by a network of statewide volunteers who work through the Tennessee Technological University (TTU) BusinessMedia Center in Cookeville to coordinate the presentations. The BusinessMedia Center has developed, marketed, and implemented the Ollie Otter program since it started in 2006.
All of the volunteers are trained through a free public service course, created at TTU, that is housed through the Regents Online Continuing Education Program (ROCE). This course has allowed the program to gain over 800 volunteers. The unprecedented educational safety campaign has reached 1,113 schools, 17,390 classrooms, and 329,000 children.
"This remarkable growth since the program's start in 2006 can be directly attributed to the large volunteer base the Ollie Otter program has and those individuals who take time out of their day to help educate," said Julie Brewer, program manager.
"That's what it's all about, if we can save just one life it will be all worth it. I know many hundreds of lives will be saved because of the work that all of us are doing," said Carol Coleman, former chairperson of the TTDF and founder of the Ollie Otter program.
To learn more about Tennessee's booster seat and seat belt safety campaign, or to sign up as a volunteer, visit www.seatbeltvolunteer.org.
The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.