Issue: 12     

September 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.

 

 

SRTS Mini-Grants AVAILABLE!

 

Cross County Connection is pleased to announce that the National Center for Safe Routes to School has teamed up with Schwinn's Helmets on Heads program to provide 25 $1,000 mini-grants to 25 schools across the country. If awarded, funding can be used to fund activities ranging from the nuts and bolts to help start or sustain bicycling programs, to new, inspiring ideas that explore the range of benefits of safe bicycling. Selected mini-grant proposals will fit a school's needs and interests around safe bicycling and helmet safety education, and will require that correct helmet use be a mandatory component of any program. Mini-grant activities should occur between January 1, 2015, and the end of the Spring 2015 semester. Applications are due Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

   

The goal of the mini-grant program is to help schools identify their safe bicycling needs, to encourage helmet safety education and to create bicycling-related activities that address these needs/interests. The National Center and Schwinn's Helmets on Heads program also encourage applicants to engage student leaders and/or harness students' creativity. There are many right answers, and creativity and innovation are encouraged.

 

Eligible applicants include:

  • Adult-supervised elementary or middle school groups or clubs;
  • Faculty, staff, or parent volunteers at elementary or middle schools;
  • Local and Tribal governments; and/or
  • Non-profit organizations that will work with a school to improve bicycle safety and/or increase bicycling participation. Cross County Connection can work with your municipality or school district to develop a project eligible under program guidelines.

An application can be downloaded here. It can also be accessed on the mini grant webpage. Please contact Cross County Connection for assistance at (856) 596-8228 or Calderetti@driveless.com.

 

 

Five Ideas for Bicycling Programs at Your School

  • Develop a school-wide bike program: Work with teachers and parents at your school to establish a bike share program. Students can check out bikes and helmets to ride at home or school and get a chance to practice their bike safety skills with their families and friends.
  • Establish a fitness club: To encourage more physical activity at your school, establish a fitness club. A fitness club could be held before or after school a few days a week. Students could practice their bike safety skills, learn proper helmet fitting techniques, and enjoy bicycling with their friends and teachers at school.
  • Hold bicycle safety trainings: Work with PE teachers to teach bike safety classes and helmet fitting techniques.
  • Enhance opportunities for children with disabilities: Work with the special education leader at your school and establish a bike program for children with disabilities. Bike to School Day events create opportunities for students of all abilities to interact and socialize with their peers. These events can also provide opportunities to teach bicycle safety skills, and positive experiences to encourage independent travel later in life.
  • Give mobility to students who are homeless or families that cannot afford bicycles: Start a bike share program in which students can check out bikes and helmets, allowing them to ride to and from school, parks, and activities in their neighborhood. Work with bike shops to establish free bike maintenance classes and safety clinics for your students.

 

 

International Walk to School Day: October 2014

 

October 8th is International Walk to School Day. International Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. Over time, this event has become part of a movement for year-round Safe Routes to School activities. Today, thousands of schools across America - from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico - participate every October. If you cannot participate on the 8th, no worries! There are 22 other days in October that school is in session. For help setting up your event, please contact Cross County Connection. From coordinating the logistics of your event to handing out safety giveaways, Cross County Connection can help make the celebration as impactful as possible!  

 

Find out more about Walk to School Day a www.walkbiketoschool.org/ .

 

 

Safety Lessons and Walk to School Day

 

For children, summer's end marks the start of the school year and with that, new opportunities to learn. Starting this month, the Safe Routes to School staff at Cross County Connection will begin administering their 1st-3rd Grade Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Education Program. Through active participation, students will learn and practice the precautionary measures that are necessary in order to safely walk and bike to school. Currently, the following schools have scheduled the 1st-3rd grade Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Education Program for Cross County Connection to administer: 

  • Woodbury Heights Elementary School
  • Zane North School
  • Thomas Jefferson School
  • Sacred Heart Elementary School
  • Ross Elementary School
  • Dawes Avenue School
  • Jordan Road School
  • Mullica Elementary School
  • Fairfield Elementary School
  • Spragg Elementary School

To reinforce the lessons learned during the program, many schools will be participating in International Walk to School Day during the month of October. Before your school's calendar fills up, contact Cross County Connection to book the 1st-3rd Grade Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Education Program. Our calendar is filling up fast so please do not delay!

 

 

Safe Routes for Children to Traverse

       

Cross County Connection assists municipalities and schools in identifying pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements needed around K-8 schools, as well as grant opportunities for funding infrastructure projects. Throughout New Jersey, many school and municipal administrators are concerned about the safety of children who choose to bike or walk to and from school. Whether these concerns are due to a lack of sidewalk connectivity, speeding or congestion, there are remedies available. Unfortunately, funding might not always be allotted in municipal or school district budgets for improvements such as the installation of traffic calming devices, the painting of crosswalks or the construction of sidewalks. However, there are grant opportunities available to fund these projects and others.

 

 

Through a comprehensive approach, Cross County Connection will work with stakeholders from your community to create a school Travel Plan. Through the administration of walking and bicycling audits and community meetings, Cross County Connection will identify problems in existing bicycle and pedestrian networks and provide recommendations to remedy these problems so students can choose to walk or bike to school. Once a Travel Plan is created, there are grant opportunities available to pay for the construction of bicycle and pedestrian projects.

 

                      

 

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.

 

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