For the past 20 years Safe Kids, a group focused on injury prevention in children, has worked with the Grand Forks school district, in Grand Forks, N.D., to encourage its students to walk and bicycle safely to school. Currently, there are 11 public schools and two private schools in Grand Forks with which Safe Kids Grand Forks works to implement Safe Routes to School (SRTS) activities. And with the recent award for two infrastructure projects and one noninfrastructure grant, pedestrian and bicycle safety will continue to improve for Grand Forks students.
Sherwood Forest Elementary School in Winston-Salem, NC, is making strides in its efforts to encourage safe walking to school thanks to strong parent involvement, collaboration with the City of Winston-Salem and donations from local businesses. In 2006, parent volunteer Sharon Sturkie attended a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) workshop with the school principal after he learned about the program at a principal’s meeting.
Whitaker Elementary School is surrounded by residential streets, making it an ideal location for a Walk to School program. Without a formal program in place, Dr. Gary Miller, a professor from the Health and Exercise Science department at Wake Forest University approached the assistant principal with a plan to start one at the elementary school.
The first Walking and Wheeling Day at Lake Norman Elementary School in Mooresville, NC, was inspired by none other than one persistent third grade student at the school.
“He would get out of the car every morning and say, ‘Dr. Nutting, why can’t I ride my bike to school? Dr. Nutting, where’s the bike rack?’” said Dr. Boen Nutting, principal at Lake Norman Elementary.
Chapel Hill, NC, is a town of partnerships and relationships; between the University of North Carolina and the Town Council, residents and college students and community groups and schools. One such relationship is between the local elementary schools, local government and Go! Chapel Hill Active Living by Design, a national program that helped to facilitate the spread and success of the Active Routes to School program in Chapel Hill.
Brevard Elementary School students and recreational walkers in the 7,000-person community in Brevard, NC, will benefit from the Gallimore Road multi-use path to be constructed with a $250,000 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure grant awarded in 2008 to the city from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
Thanks to the efforts of one energetic parent, Ira B. Jones Elementary School in Asheville, N.C., has been participating in International Walk to School Day for a number of years. Since the event’s inception in 2004, the event has evolved from a yearly event to a biannual event and then to a monthly “Walking and Wheeling” or “Strive Not to Drive” event.