Boosters Are For Big Kids: Model City Program

Contact Stephanie Tombrello to find out how you can develop a similar program in your community.  Booster education resources available from SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A.

SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. was awarded a $25,000 “Cause-An-Effect” grant from State Farm to develop a model city program in Pasadena, California, an ethnically diverse city with a population of approximately 140,000. The project goal is to reduce crash injuries by working with school volunteers to encourage children to use boosters by teaching them, their parents, and residents of the city the 5-Step Test.

The Problem
Most people don’t know that every week more than 500 U.S. kids are injured in traffic crashes or that most kids need a booster until they are age 10 to 12. Many devastating injuries of elementary school-aged children could have been prevented if a $20 booster seat had been used. Using a booster instead of just a safety belt reduces the risk of injuries in a crash by about 45%.

What is a “model city” program?
SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. engages entire school communities, teaching kids how to protect themselves and to use peer support to help friends ride safely. With the “model city” approach, we bring together schools, youth agencies, service groups, health care groups, and law enforcement to promote the 5-Step Test in order to increase booster use and reduce injuries. Grant funds are used for teaching, outreach, organizing community involvement, publicizing 5-Step Test Events, and providing learning materials and referrals to sources of boosters for low-income families.

Press Conference, July 31, 2012
Longfellow Elementary School, Pasadena, California

Video Clip


Karen Proctor (CPNP, CPST SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. Secretary) accepts check from State Farm at press conference.

Bryan Erckenbrack of State Farm presenting their contribution to SBS USA/Model City Program.


Carol Liu, California State Senator, recognizing State Farm for community support.



Julianne Hines of Assemblyman Anthony Portantino's office presenting commendation to SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A.

Stephanie Tombrello, Executive Director of SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A., checks if Janssy Castro, 9, is safely secured.



Introducing the Program to Parent Volunteers, November 7, 2012

Cleveland Elementary School, Pasadena, California

Video Clips:
Interview with parent volunteer
Demonstration by parent volunteer


Maria-Inez Perez, SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. Child Passenger Safety Technician, with Shannon Malone, Cleveland Elementary Principal, introducing the State Farm Project "Boosters Are For Big Kids" to parents at the "Coffee With The Principal" meeting and the African-American Council. 


After learning the "5-Step Test" to determine whether or not a child needs a booster seat, a parent at Cleveland Elementary models to her peers what she has learned. Parents are volunteering their time to assist in classroom presentations that encourage children to use booster seats until the safety belt fits properly. A total of 260 students at Cleveland Elementary will learn the importance of using booster seats to prevent unnecessary injuries in car crashes. Parent volunteers can become role models for other parents as well.


SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. • P.O. Box 553, Altadena, CA 91003