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Teaching Children Safe Routes to School

October 31, 2012 | Community News, Trenton

Teaching children about street safety is one aspect of the work NJPHK-Trenton is doing as part of a larger effort to educate the community about the benefits of Complete Streets policies. Complete Streets policies aim to make streets safe for all users—pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and people who are using public transit.

Last October during National Walk to School Month Marissa Davis, NJPHK-Trenton project manager, and her colleague Shannon O’Connor joined with staff from Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association (GMTMA) to educate students at Monument Elementary School about safety measures on the sidewalks and streets of their neighborhoods.

Kindergarten through fifth-grade students gathered around Doug Markgraf, Regional Safe Routes to School Coordinator at GMTMA, who engaged them in an interactive dialogue about pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Students took a guided walk around the school to practice what they learned, identify safety hazards and discuss how to deal with them. Children also learned what to do when confronted with downed power lines and other dangers.

A grant from Clif Bar and Company enabled NJPHK-Trenton to provide giveaways for the students, including bookmarks, pencils, Clif Bars and natural fruit rollups.

Building on their success at Monument, Davis and O’Connor are working with Voorhees Transportation Center and the Safe Routes to School Coalition on a comprehensive Safe Routes to School travel plan for walkers, bikers and school bus riders at three elementary schools.

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