New highway safety kids calendar honors local teacher

Idaho’s traffic-safety advocates lost a passionate friend last year with the passing of Viola Fernández-Aranguiz, who taught more than 20 years in the Nampa School District.

Her legacy was honored with the release of the 2015 Highway Safety Kids Calendar, featuring artwork and highway safety tips straight from the colored crayons, markers and pencils of children throughout Idaho.

Fernández-Aranguiz had a passion for not only teaching her students, but also offering them information on bicycle safety and walking to school.

“She emphasized the simple action of clicking the seat belt every time,” said Margaret Goertz, with Idaho Transportation Department’s Office of Highway Safety. “Students were challenged to use their creativity by showing friends and family what they learned about traffic safety to save lives.”

Each year, the ITD’s Office of Highway Safety produces the calendar that features the creativity of Idaho’s kindergarten through sixth-grade students. The student artwork and messages provide lessons for all about keeping safe on roadways.

Fourteen entries were chosen for the pages of the 2015 calendar from schools in Pine, Peck, Cottonwood, Soda Springs, Boise, Lewiston, Mackay, Rexburg, Coeur d’Alene and Notus.

Work is underway on the 2016 calendar and young artists are encouraged to submit highway safety-related artwork through their schools for consideration. The artwork is due March 2.

Kindergarten through second-grade may select safety themes such as seat belts, child seats or school-zone safety.  Third and fourth graders may choose between bicycle and pedestrian safety, aggressive driving or teen driving. Fifth and sixth grad students may select from impaired driving, teen driving safety, seat belts or work-zone safety.

The calendar is produced in a monthly format. For each month, the winning student's name and photograph are printed on the calendar next to his or her artwork, along with their grade, school name and location. Students will each receive a custom-made calendar frame in which to display their talents. The calendars are distributed to elementary schools and law enforcement agencies throughout Idaho.

Calendars are available to the public in limited supply. For more information, contact Goertz at (208) 334-8104.

Published 01-22-15