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Integrating Safe Routes to School within education at the State level
The Delaware Safe Routes to School program will be collaborating with the state's Department of Education to work towards integrating Safe Routes to School within the schools at the state level.
Sarah Coakley, Delaware's Safe Routes to School state coordinator, will be serving as a member on the Partnership Council, a new committee established by the State's Department of Education. This committee, housed within the Department's Connections to Learning Team, was developed to strengthen partnerships that can provide support to local and state education initiatives with the purpose of promoting safe, caring, and healthy school environments.
"With this formal recognition and support of the Department of Education, the foundation is laid for the SRTS program to be more than just a funding program and to have far-reaching impacts in Delaware," said Coakley.
The goal of this new committee is to engage agencies and organizations with expertise or interest in helping children achieve optimal well-being. The Council will be involved in discussing and prioritizing areas related to health and safety in Delaware public schools. One concept being discussed is the development of a resource database for schools to aid them in finding the needed resources to solve identified problems.
"If a school has identified that obesity, for example, is a problem they are facing, the database would identify the resources and programs available to address that problem," said Coakley. "And Safe Routes to School would be one of those resources listed."
Other organizations on the committee include Nemours Health and Prevention Services and the Delaware affiliates of the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association.
Coakley sees this as a valuable way to integrate Safe Routes to School within other organizations and departments within the State. "Not only will this be a valuable networking opportunity to inform others of the Safe Routes to School message, it will be a way to integrate SRTS into existing school programs and other non-profit organizations."
For more information on Delaware's Safe Routes to School program, please visit here.