Issue: 8   

June 2014

 

 

South Jersey SRTS Program

(856) 596-8228

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communities can earn Sustainable Jersey certification points by participating in SRTS!

Communities that participate in the Sustainable Jersey certification program will be pleased to learn that developing a Safe Routes to School program is an eligible 10 point action item!

For more information about obtaining Sustainable Jersey points for creating an SRTS program, contact David Calderetti at (856) 596-8228 or visit www.sustainablejersey.com.

 

Welcome to Cross County Connection's South Jersey Safe Routes to School Newsletter! These newsletters contain in-depth articles, news items, and examples of Safe Routes to School work in South Jersey. We hope you enjoy!  

 

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national program that encourages children to be more physically active and creates safe, convenient and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from their schools. The program also encourages changes in travel behavior, supports increased traffic law enforcement around schools and educates communities about the benefits of active transportation.

 

If your school district or community is interested in learning more about SRTS, contact David Calderetti, SRTS Coordinator for Cross County Connection, at (856) 596-8228 or calderetti@driveless.com.

 

 

Bicycling to Success: A Recap of Bike to School Month

 

May was designated Bike to School Month and schools throughout southern New Jersey made a point to pedal on and be accounted for. In total, Cross County Connection assisted with the coordination of 14 bicycling events throughout the region. Students from over 25 schools were able to take part in bicycle skill courses, educational lessons and encouragement activities. Let's take a look at some highlights from Bike to School Month.

 

Egg Harbor City 

In Egg Harbor City, students from Spragg Elementary and the Egg Harbor City Community School met staff and faculty at Key Rec field to receive giveaways and educational materials prior to riding their bicycles to school. Despite rain, over 150 students came out and participated. This marks the third year in a row Egg Harbor City School District has hosted Bike to School Month activities. 

 

Somers Point 

Somers Point School District did not want to be out done by their neighbors to the east, Egg Harbor City. Both Dawes Avenue School and Jordan Road School had a wonderful Bike to School month. On selected days, bike riders were provided oranges to help replenish the calories burned along the ride to school.

 

National Park

National Park Elementary made it a point to put their small town on the map for Bike to School Month. Not only was their Bike to School Day a success, but it was held on the same day as their annual health fair. Many organizations came out and spoke to children about various safety issues. Cross County Connection conducted its Pedestrian Safety Program and Bicycle Safety Seminar!

 

Bike Rodeos 

Not only were Bike to School events popular, but Cross County Connection was also inundated with requests to assist in coordinating Bicycle Rodeos! Bicycle Rodeos were held in Fairfield, Pemberton, Camden City, Vineland City, Galloway, and Mullica Township. Students were guided through bicycle skill courses and when completed, received certificates of participation. In Camden City, the Camden County Office of Emergency Management gave away about 200 brand new helmets! In Vineland City, Cooper Hospital gave away approximately 290 helmets to participating students.

 

All in all, we are proud of our school districts in southern New Jersey. We look forward to seeing what next year's Bike to School Month will bring. If you are interested in assisting your school or community in joining the Safe Routes to School ranks, contact David Calderetti, Safe Routes to School Coordinator at 856.596.8228, or via email at Calderetti@driveless.com.

 

 

Pedestrian Program Highlights

 

It has been a busy year at Cross County Connection with our Pedestrian Program traveling to over twenty-three schools throughout our seven counties. Not only has the program reached over 3,300 students this school year, but we have also expanded our assemblies to teach grades first through fourth. Working with about thirty to forty students at a time, we have kept the experience fun and interactive with the students earning educational stickers, coloring books, and posters for participating. Questioning students about their knowledge of traffic laws and safety keeps them engaged, and calling up volunteers to review the correct steps for pedestrians to cross the street reinforces the lessons learned throughout the thirty-minute program. Bike and helmet safety is also covered. After all, it is important to get students to start wearing helmets at a young age.  

 

 

The Pedestrian Program was also a big hit at local elementary school fairs this year. Cross County Connection visited the local Science Fair at Van Zant Elementary School in Marlton, the "Passport to Wellness" Fair at Lawnside Elementary School in Lawnside, and the Health Fair at National Park Elementary, National Park. It was fun to engage students about how staying healthy and safe should always go hand in hand. Students are always eager to talk about how walking to school can improve air pollution, and it is great to see how many children are already walking or biking to school with their parents or siblings. For more information on CCCTMA's School Program, and how we can appear at YOUR school, beginning next September, please contact Valerie Laranko at (856) 596-8228 or Laranko@Driveless.com.

 

 

How to Bring SRTS to Your Community!

 

Congratulations parents, school administrators, teachers, students and everyone in between on a fantastic year of Safe Routes to School activities. Next school year, Cross County Connection will be embarking on an even more successful Safe Routes to School year. We will be growing our Safe Routes to School program and hope to work with even more schools than this year.

 

"How do I get involved," you might be asking yourself. Simply, contact Cross County Connection and we can set up a preliminary meeting with the necessary parties to get your school or school district moving forward in organizing an individualized Safe Routes to School program. Although no one wants to wish the summer away, planning a timeline of activities now to begin next school year is the first step to success.

   

Practice makes perfect! Our most successful programs begin at the start of the school year. September is a great time to allow Cross County Connection to administer its first and third grade Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program to the students of your school(s). Since National Walk to School Month is in October, scheduling a Walk to School Day then is the best way to create a sustainable Safe Routes to School program. Since students will learn appropriate and safe pedestrian and bicycle skills via our educational program prior to the event, students will be able to practice what they learned throughout the school year.

 

 

Follow these simple steps for establishing a successful SRTS program:

  1. Schedule a meeting this summer with Cross County Connection
  2. Book our 1st- 3rd Grade Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program now for administration in September
  3. Schedule a Walk to School Day event in October
  4. Practice pedestrian and bicycle safety throughout the school year

For more information, contact David Calderetti, Safe Routes to School Coordinator at 856.596.8228, or via email at Calderetti@driveless.com.

 

                      

 

Sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Transportation with funding from the Federal Highway Administration. The Federal Government and the NJDOT assume no liability for the contents.