December Webinar: Fresh Ideas from the 2012 Oberstar SRTS Award Program

As the importance of drawing upon community assets to sustain SRTS programs continues to grow, thinking beyond the "usual suspects" as partners is more important than ever.  In this sixty minute program, we will highlight partner ideas from four outstanding programs that provide wonderful examples of building strong ties with other community organizations.

Q&A: Delivering a Gorilla-Sized Walk to School Day

For most readers of this e-newsletter, Walk to School Day will be a happy memory at this point.  Not so for Don Cross.  He’ll have some warm and fuzzies for sure, but with more still to come for another week or so.

Safe Routes to School as a Catalyst for Community Change in Montpelier, Vermont

Six years ago, Community Connections, a local nonprofit that runs afterschool programs in Montpelier, Vt., public schools, identified a need to get students more physically active during the school day.  The organization saw the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program as the perfect way to get students excited about physical activity.

After receiving a non-infrastructure SRTS grant from the state, Community Connections spent the next two years running programs that concentrated on the five E’s: Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Evaluation and Engineering.

Third Grader’s Wish for a Safe Route to School Becomes a Community Cornerstone Project in Naknek, Alaska

Even in remote Naknek, Alaska, kids need safe routes to school.  Isabel Babiak knew that when she was an eight-year-old third grader.  She and her school friends feared the off highway vehicles (OHV) speeding on the narrow gravel roads they walked, and they suffered from breathing in vehicle exhaust fumes trapped low to the ground near their school by Alaska’s temperature inversion patterns.

Teaching Children to Walk Safely (Ayudando a los Niños a Aprender Habilidades de Seguridad Peatonal)

A Spanish-language flier version of the National Center's resource: Teaching Children to Walk Safely as they Grow and Develop

Authoring Organization: 
National Center for Safe Routes to School

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A fun, inclusive and award-winning SRTS program changes school culture

Heatherwood Elementary increased the percentage of students regularly walking and bicycling from 12 percent to more than 43 percent in the first three years of the program.

Heatherwood Elementary School in Boulder, Colo., is a small neighborhood school with 375 students, 90 percent of whom live within 2 miles of the school. Despite this close proximity and being located in the suburbs of a city known for its active lifestyle, only 10 percent of the school’s students were walking and only 1.4 percent were cycling to school in 2008. A parent survey revealed that few students were walking or cycling to school because a rural highway bisected the school’s attendance area.

What resources are available to teach children to safely cross the street?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed the Child Pedestrian Safety Curriculum, which teaches students how to safely walk near traffic, cross streets, cross intersections, navigate parking lots, and walk near school buses. All lessons are organized by age group (K-1, 2-3, 4-5th grades) and the entire curriculum is available to download for free. 

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Comprehensive program boosts SRTS at Roosevelt Elementary School

Michigan is one of the most "overweight states," which provided a big incentive for community leaders to try to get children active at a young age and ingrain that activity so that it will be habit later in life.


The biggest concern about implementing a Safe Routes to School program in Stevensville, Michigan, was the semi-rural Township’s lack of sidewalks near Roosevelt Elementary School. The largest subdivision is located within a mile of the school, but no one walked or biked because the route to school was along a busy street without sidewalks.  Most streets in the Township are asphalt with soft shoulders, resulting in inadequate space to walk on the side of the driving lane. 

Thinking outside the box brings safe routes to students with disabilities

Hillside students walk to downtown Allegan because it serves as a classroom for them to practice life skills.


The Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in the Allegan-area ESA School District serves 93 students with disabilities from seven local school districts.  Students range in age from pre-kindergarten to 26 years old.