Spotlight on: Ben W. Murch Elementary School, 2009 James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award recipient

Recognized for Excellence in Building Community Support and Infrastructure for Safe Walking and Bicycling to School

The National Center for Safe Routes to School announced Ben W. Murch Elementary School as the 2009 recipient of the James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award, a national award for outstanding achievement in implementing a Safe Routes to School program. Chairman Oberstar (right) presents the 2009 James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award to Principal Dawn Ellis (left) and the Murch Elementary School's 17-member student Safety Patrol at a celebration on Mon., Oct. 26. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (middle) also joined the celebration in Washington, D.C.

"Murch Elementary School has made incredible progress improving the school's safe walking and bicycling culture and infrastructure," said U.S. Rep. James L. Oberstar, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. "I am pleased to help recognize the tremendous efforts made here in Washington D.C. and hope Murch will inspire similar programs at other schools across the country. Together, we are changing the transportation habits of an entire generation of young people, and shaping a healthier, safer, less energy-dependent nation."

An Award Committee convened by The National Center selected Murch Elementary School as this year's recipient based on its exemplary Safe Routes to School program successes, including: reversing school policy that prohibited students from bicycling to school without special permission; building community support for walking and bicycling to school; and implementing an effective student Safety Patrol program to enforce safe driving behavior around the school.

For more information, see the 2009 Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award press release.