Third Grader’s Wish for a Safe Route to School Becomes a Community Cornerstone Project in Naknek, Alaska

Even in remote Naknek, Alaska, kids need safe routes to school.  Isabel Babiak knew that when she was an eight-year-old third grader.  She and her school friends feared the off highway vehicles (OHV) speeding on the narrow gravel roads they walked, and they suffered from breathing in vehicle exhaust fumes trapped low to the ground near their school by Alaska’s temperature inversion patterns.

Teaching Children to Walk Safely (Ayudando a los Niños a Aprender Habilidades de Seguridad Peatonal)

A Spanish-language flier version of the National Center's resource: Teaching Children to Walk Safely as they Grow and Develop

Authoring Organization: 
National Center for Safe Routes to School

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A fun, inclusive and award-winning SRTS program changes school culture

Heatherwood Elementary increased the percentage of students regularly walking and bicycling from 12 percent to more than 43 percent in the first three years of the program.

Heatherwood Elementary School in Boulder, Colo., is a small neighborhood school with 375 students, 90 percent of whom live within 2 miles of the school. Despite this close proximity and being located in the suburbs of a city known for its active lifestyle, only 10 percent of the school’s students were walking and only 1.4 percent were cycling to school in 2008. A parent survey revealed that few students were walking or cycling to school because a rural highway bisected the school’s attendance area.

What resources are available to teach children to safely cross the street?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed the Child Pedestrian Safety Curriculum, which teaches students how to safely walk near traffic, cross streets, cross intersections, navigate parking lots, and walk near school buses. All lessons are organized by age group (K-1, 2-3, 4-5th grades) and the entire curriculum is available to download for free. 

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Comprehensive program boosts SRTS at Roosevelt Elementary School

Michigan is one of the most "overweight states," which provided a big incentive for community leaders to try to get children active at a young age and ingrain that activity so that it will be habit later in life.


The biggest concern about implementing a Safe Routes to School program in Stevensville, Michigan, was the semi-rural Township’s lack of sidewalks near Roosevelt Elementary School. The largest subdivision is located within a mile of the school, but no one walked or biked because the route to school was along a busy street without sidewalks.  Most streets in the Township are asphalt with soft shoulders, resulting in inadequate space to walk on the side of the driving lane. 

Thinking outside the box brings safe routes to students with disabilities

Hillside students walk to downtown Allegan because it serves as a classroom for them to practice life skills.


The Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in the Allegan-area ESA School District serves 93 students with disabilities from seven local school districts.  Students range in age from pre-kindergarten to 26 years old.

Community support builds comprehensive SRTS program

The St. Thomas Aquinas SRTS team consists of parents, neighbors, teachers and administrators. 


St. Thomas Aquinas School is located in an urban neighborhood approximately four miles north of downtown Indianapolis. It serves 221 students in kindergarten to 8th grade. Officials estimate that 85 percent of the students live within two miles of the school and could walk or bicycle to school if conditions were better. However, surveys taken prior to instituting an SRTS program showed that less than 15 percent of students walked or biked to school.

Shifting Modes: A Comparative Analysis of SRTS Program Elements and Travel Mode Outcomes

This study explores how school-level dynamics that underlie the planning and implementation of SRTS programs relate to the percentage of students who walk and bicycle between home and school.

Do successful Safe Routes to School programs have something in common?

Shifting Modes: A Comparative Analysis of Safe Routes to School Program Elements and Travel Mode Outcomes identifies the following four key factors that successful SRTS programs share:

Authoring Organization: 
National Center for Safe Routes to School

Call for Applications: SRTS National Course Instructor Training

Applications are now being accepted for participation in the Safe Routes to School National Course Instructor Training, to be held October 24 - 27, 2011, in Yakima, Wash. Up to 12 individuals may be selected.