Melrose Elementary and Lawn Middle Schools in Jamestown, Rhode Island, have been concerned about students safely walking to school for several years. A local group that focuses on increasing pedestrian and bicycle accessibility throughout Jamestown has taken a special interest in solving this issue. In 2007, the schools in Jamestown began incorporating Safe Routes to School ideas into their existing encouragement and safety programs.
Skinner Road School is in Vernon, Conn. As a kindergarten to fifth grade school, it supports 330 racially and economically diverse students. In 2003, Skinner Road had the lowest testing scores in the district. At this time, the school also had poor fitness test scores, with only 9 percent of fourth graders passing all four parts of the fitness test. In 2006, school staff and parent volunteers initiated Skinner Road’s first Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program with the belief that healthier students will learn better.
Roosevelt Middle School and the surrounding community of Eugene, Oregon, have successfully developed a team of community organizations committed to providing Safe Routes to School (SRTS) for children.
In August 2000, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition was funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to participate in a Safe Routes to School pilot program. Congressman James Oberstar, then the ranking Democrat of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, endorsed the program as a means to reduce traffic congestion around schools and promote healthy alternatives to driving.
Chula Vista is in southwest California and has the largest kindergarten through sixth grade district in the state. In 2007, the city of Chula Vista and the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) applied for and were awarded Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grants. One of the grants was designated for a non-infrastructure program for Otay and Rice Elementary Schools, while the other was for a city infrastructure program.
Maybe it’s not feasible to travel by jet pack, but that didn’t stop students from including the idea on a middle school mural that highlights creative, non-car ways to arrive at school. The alternative transportation mural, painted on the corner of Mile High Middle School in Prescott, AZ, just behind the bicycle rack, was part of an encouragement effort, according to Lisa Barnes, Executive Director of Prescott Alternative Transportation (PAT), a non-profit pedestrian and bicycling advocacy organization.
In September 2007, the Coconino County Health Department received $39,000 in Federal funding awarded through the Arizona Department of Transportation to jumpstart its Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. The program, titled “Walk. Bike. Get Fit,” began at Kinsey Elementary School, considered one of the most challenging to access by walking or bicycling.
Flippin, AR, is a rural town that is home to Flippin Elementary School, Flippin Middle School and Flippin High School. All of these schools are on the same campus, and approximately 100 of the 920 students regularly walk to school, despite the limited sidewalks around the school and the highway bordering part of campus.
The Parent Teachers Association (PTA) at Challenger Elementary School in Huntsville, Ala., has organized Walk to School Day in conjunction with International Walk to School Day for five years. Through the PTA’s efforts, the children learn the importance of physical activity and a healthy diet.