“School’s out for summer.” I always hear Alice Cooper singing that in my head this time of year. It reminds me of how excited I was every June for the joys of summer vacation, “no more teachers, no more books….” But there is no rest this time of year for our partners at the DMV and driver’s education teachers. Why?
It’s actually the busiest time of year for teenagers who finally have the time to take driver’s ed classes and get to their local DMV office to get their permits and licenses. In North Carolina, the driver’s education curriculum approved by the Department of Public Instruction requires teachers to cover the basics of organ donation to prepare teens for the first time they will be asked, at age 16, at the DMV, “Do you want to be an organ donor?”
Being prepared means understanding what organ donation is, how it saves lives after you are gone and understanding that when you register, once you turn 18 that decision is legally-binding. Donate Life NC has developed curriculum materials, FREE of charge, for driver’s education instructors across the state. The materials include sample lesson plans, a pre- or post- quiz, fact sheets (even re-usable, laminated copies for teachers with tight photocopy budgets!) and a DVD with four inspiring stories, including “Ray of Hope,” the story of the former UNC mascot who became a donor, and “The Chris Henry Story,” which shares the story of the former Cincinnati Bengal player who died tragically in Charlotte.
Materials are mailed to any teacher that makes a request, or can be downloaded anytime at https://www.donatelifenc.org/content/materials-educators .
So the next time you see a student driver on the road, remember the important role the driver’s education teacher has in not only keeping those teens and the rest of us safe, but in educating teens about the incredible gift they can give by answering “Yes” when they get their license at the DMV.