2007-2008 Summary Annual Report: Promotion

Promotion Highlights

  • Awarded the first James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award. The award recognized the Michigan Department of Transportation for exemplary establishment of a statewide SRTS program.
  • Presented the 1st Safe Routes to School National Conference in conjunction with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the Michigan Fitness Foundation. Awarded $20,000 in stipends to assist 20 local leaders to attend the conference.
  • Coordinated International Walk to School events in the U.S. on October 3, 2007. Saw a growth of 35% compared to 2006.
  • Launched Safe Routes Forums, a means to facilitate discussion among local SRTS programs across the U.S.

Online presence

The National Center’s web site is an efficient tool to facilitate the dissemination of information to the general public, state governments and local stakeholders. The more than 75,000 visitors to the web site last year highlight the growth and reach of Safe Routes to School. Visitors benefited from a wealth of online resources available at their fingertips, from the popular SRTS Guide to news releases on new products and services, including case studies and available training.

Annual report

The 2006-2007 Annual Report was completed and printed. Copies were distributed at the FHWA Office of Safety exhibit booth during the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting. Additional copies were distributed at the Pedestrian Committee meeting, Bicycle Committee meeting and the School Transportation Subcommittee meeting during TRB. An electronic copy is available online at www.saferoutesinfo.org/resources/center-reports.cfm.

E-newsletter

The National Center’s Safe Routes Matters e-newsletter is sent every other month to 1,500 addresses. The newsletter is an efficient tool to communicate news from the National Center to a growing community of Safe Routes to School leaders and advocates.

Online communications

Electronic messages are sent to online subscribers on new activities at the National Center for Safe Routes to School. These items include: news briefs, new information available, new online registration for Walk to School, call for proposals to host the National Conference, call for applications to the Oberstar Award, and calls for training needs.

International Walk to School events

The National Center for Safe Routes to school actively promotes International Walk to School in October, and maintains web sites especially designed for the event (www.walktoschool.org for USA, and www.iwalktoschool.org for the international community). The following are activities associated with Walk to School that were completed during this year:

  • Created online registration system, featuring database of state by state Walk to School events.
  • Developed and updated promotional materials, including logos, news release, public service announcements, proclamations and media advisories. Posted other customizable materials for event organizers to download from the walktoschool.org web site.
  • Secured co-promotional opportunities to offer incentives and giveaways to Walk to School registrants.
  • Opened Walk to School Day online registration, including assessment of usage of “resource people” and contacting all states with customized registration questions. Launched Walk to School online registration and announced it via electronic news bulletins, listservs, newsletters and announcement to all previous Walk to School participants.
  • Responded to technical assistance queries from Walk to School and International Walk to School web sites.
  • Wrote Walk to School Administrator Handbook.
  • Promoted, set agenda and facilitated International Walk to School Committee conference call.Updated content of country pages on iwalktoschool.org site per requests from country contacts.
  • Updated logo for 2008 and created versions to post on WTS and IWALK web sites.
  • Sent a weekly e-newsletter to Walk to School participants with event ideas, additional resources and giveaways for schools.
  • International Walk to School events in the USA (on Oct 3, 2007), saw a growth of 35% compared to 2006.

Safe Routes Forums

The National Center launched the Safe Routes Forums as a tool to facilitate discussion among local SRTS programs across the U.S. The forums are housed on saferoutesinfo.org, and are monitored by National Center staff.

James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award

The NCSRTS established the James L. Oberstar Award in 2007 to recognize outstanding achievement in improving the health and well-being of an entire generation of school children by creating safer environments for walking and biking to school and encouraging children to walk to and from school. The 2007 Oberstar Award recognized outstanding achievement by a state in establishing its SRTS program. National Center staff held the official award ceremony for the 2007 James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award in Washington, D.C., with Chairman James Oberstar presenting the award to the Michigan Department of Transportation. The 2008 award will recognize excellence by a specific school or community.

1st National Safe Routes to School Conference

The SRTS National Conference in Dearborn, Michigan, had a sell-out crowd of 400 attendees. The National Center promoted and awarded $20,000 in stipends for the First Safe Routes to School National Conference. The National Center coordinated the event and presented a video message from Chairman Oberstar in which he welcomed conference attendees and congratulated Michigan’s Department of Transportation for winning the 2007 Oberstar Award.

  • The National center contributed to several conference sessions, including sessions on evaluation, media and resources.
  • National Center staff taught a modified version of Skills for Local SRTS Program Development course.
  • The National Center conducted follow-up communication with conference attendees to promote the current resources of the National Center.

Participation in teleconferences and conferences related to SRTS

Staff from the National Center for Safe Routes to School participates in conferences as attendees and as presenters to reach groups of stakeholders whose goals fit those of the National Center. During the reporting period, National Center staff offered their expertise as follows:

  • Presented on Federal Safe Routes to School Program at Safe and Active Routes to School Meeting as part of WALK21 Conference in Toronto, Canada in September.
  • Moderated session as part of Walk21—Putting Pedestrians First, October 1-4, 2007 in Toronto, Canada.
  • Moderated session on SRTS at ITE National Technical Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Facilitated roundtable discussion of SRTS at Obesity Prevention in Public Health, a course for state Physical Activity Coordinators from around the country, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  • Participated in National Safe Routes to School Task Force Meetings.
  • Participated in Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Professional Development Seminar, September 12-14, 2007, Davis, California.
  • Participated in National Bicycle Safety Network teleconference, September 20, 2007, Teleconference.
  • Facilitated International Walk to School Committee teleconference call on August 29, 2007.
  • Participated in Childhood Obesity Prevention Summit held October 18-19, 2007, in Washington, D.C. The theme of the summit was “Connecting Leaders to Support Healthy Children.”
  • Co-sponsored 1st Safe Routes to School National Conference in Dearborn, Michigan. NCSRTS members participated in numerous sessions, including speaking at opening session and closing plenary, moderating sessions, conducting training, and presenting at sessions.
  • Participated in FHWA-hosted conference call for SRTS state coordinators, December 12, 2007.
  • Participated in National Bicycle Safety Network teleconference, December 18, 2007.
  • Presented on National Center activities at Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., January 14-18, 2008, including presentations at Pedestrian and Bicycle committee meetings and the School Transportation Subcommittee meetings.
  • Presented at National Bicycle Summit, March 18, 2008, Washington, DC.
  • Presented on U.S. SRTS programs and research during conference call with Canadian SRTS planning group, March 7, 2008.
  • Moderated and presented at Lifesavers Conference in Portland, Oregon, about data collection and evaluation plans in April 2008.
  • Made formal presentation on SRTS activities and opportunities for collaboration at CDC and held meetings with representatives from CDC’s NIEHS, DASH and DNPA In April 2008.
  • Presented poster of “Analysis of Walk to School Day Media: Tactics Used to Effectively Double Media Coverage Received for the 2006 US Walk to School Day” at Active Living Research Conference in Washington, D.C. in April 2008.
  • Presented booth at PTA national conference in June 2008. Sponsored the 4th Annual Walk for Healthy Kids on Sunday, June 22. Proceeds from the event will support programs in PTAs and schools across the country, including wellness events, PE equipment, and educational activities.

Other core functions: