Partnerships throughout the community enabled McCook Elementary School to develop a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program that led to a 15 percent increase in students who walk or bicycle to school. Cooperation also provided students with a comprehensive message of nutrition, health and exercise that can be sustained over time.
In spring 2007, Holdrege Public Schools in Holdrege, NE, applied for and received two federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grants through the Nebraska Department of Roads’ Safe Routes Nebraska program — one $167,883 infrastructure grant and one $19,603 non-infrastructure grant. With these funds, four elementary schools and the city’s middle school will benefit from a variety of infrastructure and non-infrastructure improvements.
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.