Safe Routes To School Program
Safe biking and walking routes to key community places” was one of the priorities identified at the first anniversary of The Storm in 2006 Safe Routes to School fits the objective.
JoAnn Pugh has been appointed Coordinator of the the program. In this role, she will communicate and facilitate all activities with program partners, which include the City of Emmetsburg, Emmetsburg Police Department and Emmetsburg school staffs. She will also meet quarterly with the core working group/advisory committee.
Pugh is also charged with teaching the teachers regarding curriculum materials and Safe Routes to School. This includes a one-day in-service with police officers and teachers. She will assist classroom teachers/police officer teaching teams during instruction time.
The E’Hawk Walking Club will be established and Pugh will coordinate and administrate the club. As part of the club, pedometers will be given to all of the students. Other incentive merchandise may be added, such as water bottles, key chains, or lanyards. Bike helmets, pedometers and other promotional merchandise will be purchased, with input from school and police staff.
A public awareness campaign will be developed, involving the newspaper, radio and take-home fliers. Posters, brochures and safety information will be distributed to the public.
Crosswalk signs will be purchased, with input from the city and police staff.
“Ticket” incentives will be a part of the program. Police Officers will issue “tickets” when students are wearing a helmet or following other walking/biking safety rules. The tickets will be redeemable with local merchants. The coordinator will design the ticket incentive and purchase coupons from local merchants to be distributed with the tickets.
A Bike Rally will be held each May. Pugh will be working with law enforcement to host a bike rally and carnival the second Saturday in May to encourage families to bike and walk safely. School teachers and law enforcement will have teaching booths, activities and prizes for students and their families.
Emmetsburg’s “Walk To School” day will be held the first Wednesday in October. This is in conjunction with National Walk/Bike to School Day.
Law Enforcement plays a big part in Safe Routes to School. Officers will team teach with the classroom teachers. They will increase patrol at West Elementary before and after school each day. And, they will put out the crosswalk signs every morning and remove them before dusk throughout the school year.
As The Storm continues…
Safe Routes to School provides funding to begin work on an identified community need: safe biking and walking routes to key community places.
This project can be the first step of many to improve walking and biking in the community, improving the quality of life for everyone.
Residents interested in getting involved in Safe Routes to School can contact Pam Smith or Sandy Pelzer.