Safe Routes to School
Wouldn’t it be nice to worry a little less when our most prized possessions leave the house for school? Having a safe path for our students to walk or bike to school not only helps calm our worry, but also helps get our students valuable minutes of physical activity during the day. In fact, children who walk to school get three times as much moderate to vigorous physical activity during their walk to school than during recess. And safe, active students are healthier and do better in school. Studies have shown, kids who spend 20 minutes walking or biking to and from school perform better on tests and quizzes. When families and community members like you play a role, communities become healthier, safer, and more active. Read on for easy ways to get involved!
Promote Your School’s Active Transportation
An Active Transportation Plan is a comprehensive set of strategies to ensure better options for biking, walking, and transit. Did you know that schools in the city of Caldwell have been individually evaluated and Active Transportation Site Plans may have been created for your school? With your help, these plans can be put into action by your city and school district to ensure biking and walking to your school is safer, easier and less worry for all!
Promote Your School's Active Transportation
Download plans here:
Attend a Community Meeting
Who better to help start a conversation about solutions and improvements for student’s path to school, than the people who know your students and your neighborhood streets best? YOU. By attending school and community meetings you can help make safe routes a priority at your school and be a part of the solution. You can bring ideas to the table like planning a “Walk to School Day” to call attention to the issue, or ask about setting up an official Walking School Bus program. Plus, you’ll be able to stay up to date on the progress being made, including support and information on safely biking and walking to school.
Attend a Community Meeting
Check back soon and often! We will update you about meetings as they are scheduled.
Discover Community Schools
The Community School helps kids be more successful and families more stable by bringing the resources they need directly to the local school, where services are easily accessible. Students often face barriers outside the classroom that make it difficult for them to be successful inside the classroom. By finding the right partners to address these barriers, schools are making sure children and their families are supported both inside and outside the classroom. With services like preschool, afterschool programs, mentorship, flu shots, dental services, community gardens, adult education, and parenting education; the Community School strategy is redefining the local school. The school becomes not only a place for academic learning, but a community hub where the community unites to lift up children and families. Each Community School has a designated Community School Coordinator who can help families connect with the resources they offer, including support and information on biking and walking to their school safely.
Check out the video below to learn more about school wellness and why it matters.
Safe Routes & Active Travel
Getting students to and from school in safe and healthy ways matters. Here in Caldwell, and across the country, Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs make it safer and easier for children to walk or bike to and from school. SRTS programs can help address issues like lack of sidewalks or crosswalks, dangerous traffic speeds, and even bullying and violence concerns. Programs include education on how to safely walk and bike on busy streets, and making actual physical improvements to streets and neighborhoods, as well as other efforts encouraging more children to walk and bike.
These types of programs not only protects our students from traffic-related dangers and other safety concerns, but it also lets them become more physically active - and active youth are healthier and do better in school.
Parents, families, and local community members can play a significant role in helping get students to school in safe and active ways, like walking or biking. Schools and local government, benefit when they listen and learn from you and your family’s experience, especially when it comes to how your students get to school. When we all work together, safer routes to school can really happen.
A Piece of the School Wellness Puzzle
A path to school that is safe and allows students to get some of their recommended daily physical activity is just one important piece of a much part of a larger picture of “School Wellness.” School wellness efforts are aimed at creating the healthiest school environment possible for our youth to learn and grow. Schools provide a place for students to not only learn what’s in their books and on the whiteboard, but to develop healthy habits, like eating well and being physically active. This makes being able to walk or bike to school all the more important. Not only will it keep our children safe, but students who show good attendance, eat well, and stay active, also perform better in school, with higher grades and test scores.
All school districts already have written standards in place to make sure they provide your students with the healthiest school environment possible - typically referred to as a School Wellness Policy. Schools, community organizations and local government can work together to ensure all the pieces are in place to provide a safe and healthy environment from the time that students leave for school until they get back home. But they need parents and families like you to make sure those standards are up to par, and are actually implemented at your individual schools!
So spread the word by sharing the video below (who doesn’t love puppets!?), and check out the section above for easy ways to take action!
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