The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Initiative is a national initiative organized at the local level. From 2010 – 2017, we worked with Massachusetts Safe Routes to School to encourage children to walk and/or bike to school on a regular basis, promoting increased physical activity and decreasing tardiness and absenteeism among young students.
Partnering with all 26 schools in the New Bedford School District, we worked to:
- increase the number of children who walk and/or bike to school on a daily basis
- increase the amount of physical activity children get while in school and after school
- bring together parents, teachers, police, and other community members to create safe, walkable neighborhoods for the city’s children
We surveyed children and parents, and asked them where they live and how they travel to school (bike, walk, drive, bus); with this information we generated a report to use in the development of an SRTS Task Force made up of parents, teachers, police officers, and other stakeholders to:
- create strategies to address any recognized issues
- create safer neighborhoods and organize walking school buses that encourage parents to let their children join because many other children participate
- ultimately, increase the number of children who walk and bike to school every day
Contact your local school to learn about how they are utilizing Safe Routes to School on a daily basis!