It can be tricky to capture the attention of parents and children for the important but sometimes mundane topic of pedestrian safety. So, Bike/Walk Central Florida’s Best Foot Forward (BFF) program staff decided to recruit a pro at entertaining children and “getting moms out of the house” for help.
Richard Peeples, a.k.a. Mr. Richard, a popular entertainer and composer of children’s music, agreed and began working on a song with safety materials the BFF program provided. The resulting “Left Right Left” is a catchy tune that conveys an important message and at the same time gets kids – and parents – singing, tapping their toes and dancing as the song and message stick in their heads.
From catchy tune to student-created video
BFF partners loved the sing-along song so much that they asked the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) District 5 safety team to help produce a music video to share with kids at safety presentations. FDOT took the idea one step further and created a music video contest among area high school students.
The video contest became part of a pilot initiative by BFF and FDOT’s Alert Today Florida to engage high school students in street safety while encouraging creativity. Additionally, the final PSA targets younger children and educates them with a catchy family-friendly song. Winners of the contest were offered the chance to work with a professional video production company and director.
Twenty high schools were invited to participate in the pilot and eight schools submitted entries. The selection committee included Mr. Richard; Kayla Mitchell, Bike/Walk Central Florida Assistant Director; and three FDOT Alert Today Florida team members based in Tallahassee.
Earlier this year, FDOT announced that students from The Cornerstone Academy in Belle Isle had won the contest and were treated to a production class with the award-winning cinematographer Tammy Roebuck and famed actor Daniel Roebuck. Students then filmed the official “Left Right Left” PSA with the Roebucks based on their entry. Mr. Richard even made a cameo in the video as a crossing guard.
The result – We think it’s fabulous, but you can see for yourself here …
To learn more about using the song and other safety education materials, contact us at [email protected]