The National Center for Safe Routes to School recently announced the selection of 25 recipients of $1,000 mini-grants for projects designed to encourage safe walking and bicycling to school. The mini-grant activities, many of which are driven by student leadership, will occur during the fall semester of the 2011-2012 school year.
"The innovation of the mini-grant applications we received show how communities are tailoring programs to their unique strengths and challenges," said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School (National Center). “Each community is different, and the diverse approaches represented by these communities show progress that can be made in health and well-being when creativity is coupled with community leadership and student buy-in.”
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are sustained efforts by parents, schools, community leaders and local, state, federal, and tribal governments to enable and encourage more children to walk and bicycle to school. The National Center, which serves as the clearinghouse for the federal SRTS program, received 249 eligible SRTS mini-grant applications from schools and community organizations nationwide during this fourth award cycle. Selected proposals distinguished themselves through creative approaches to increase safe walking and bicycling to school, and many highlighted student leadership.
Proposed mini-grant activities create peer mentor programs for walking safety, produce student-designed safety videos to be shown community-wide, utilize existing volunteer programs to boost oversight of children on their way to and from school, and integrate safe walking and bicycling into classroom lessons.
"Communities continue to use these mini-grants to jumpstart new programs and to build upon strategies that may already be working well,” continued Marchetti. "The community and student leadership recognized here exemplify the mindset that can lead to truly livable communities in the future.”
For a full list of recipients and their project success stories, visit the press release.