It's been an exciting past few months here, as I'm sure it has been in your communities, and I wanted to share some of the things we've been up to at the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
In September, we participated in a meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education, to discuss priorities for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. It's significant that Safe Routes to School programs have risen in priority to be included in the larger discussion of safe and drug-free schools and I was encouraged to be invited to represent the National Center among a select group of organizations.
October kicked off with another record-breaking Walk to School Day on Oct. 7 (see article below ), and the Walk 21 Conference, an international conference on walking in New York City. The conference provided the opportunity to hear from leading professionals about programs, policies and projects that really work around the world. The National Center co-hosted a Walk to School Day event with Livable Streets Education in conjunction with the Walk 21 Conference. Check out this cool two-minute video highlighting the celebration.
The UNC Highway Safety Research Center — home of the National Center — recently hosted a delegation of physicians from Turkmenistan interested in highway safety and walking and bicycling issues. Nancy Pullen-Seufert, associate director for the National Center for Safe Routes to School, spoke to the group about our programs, issues and concerns, and participated in what I understand was a very interesting idea sharing session. And on Mon., Oct. 26, the National Center awarded the 2009 James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award to Washington D.C.'s Ben W. Murch Elementary School .
We are thrilled to be engaging professionals from such diverse backgrounds in the discussion and implementation of Safe Routes to School programs. Together, we can achieve great things.