Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Mini-Grant Program
In 2007, Safe States Alliance awarded six minigrants to participants in the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Mini-Grant Program. Nearly 50 applications were received, and after a formal review by an expert panel, the six awardees below were chosen for funding.
Each awardee received approximately $12,500 - $15,500 to complete SRTS activities in their communities for one year (June 2007 - May 2008). The funds for this mini-grant were made possible through a cooperative agreement between Safe States Alliance and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Much as been learned from these six outstanding grantees. In July 2008, the grantees came together to discuss the lessons learned from the grant program. We look forward to sharing their experiences with other public health professionals who are doing SRTS work.
For more information about the mini-grant or to learn more about any of the awarded sites, please contact Safe States Alliance at (770) 690-9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Grantees
Cleveland Department of Public Health (Cleveland, OH)
Contact: Meghan Estes (MEstes@city.cleveland.oh.us)
The Safe Routes to School (SR2S) Mini-Grant will enable the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) to enhance existing SR2S programming. Funds will be used to enhance the existing SR2S Coalition by recruiting additional partners and offering valuable training opportunities such as the National SR2S Training Course. The CDPH will work with Louisa May Alcott (LMA) School (K-6) to create a SR2S Task Force that will assist in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the SR2S program. The Task Force will be responsible for organizing International Walk to School Month activities, Stranger Danger education for students, and a Walking School Bus. The CDPH will partner with the American Lung Association to conduct anti-idling education for LMA parents and staff. The goal is for LMA to become a model for other schools who are interested in implementing SR2S programming.
Comanche County Health Department (Lawton, OK)
Contact: Janette New (Jeanette@health.ok.gov)
The goals of Lawton Fit Kids Coalition in relation to SRTS are:
- Increase the number of students at Whittier and HowellElementary Schools who are safely walking and/or bicycling to and from school. We have selected several projects to reach this goal which include: Walking School Bus, Identification of Safe Houses along Routes to School, Incentive/Reward Programs for Students Walking, and partnering with local agencies to implement parent and student education. Local police department will be setting portable radar trails to display drivers speed, making drivers aware of school zone safety.
- Reduce Traffic congestion at each school during drop off and pick up times. By selecting alternate drop off sites for students to catch the Walking School Bus we hope to reduce immediate traffic in front of and around schools.
- Establish community support for SRTS by informing parents, residents and community leaders of planned objectives and expected outcomes. SRTS committee has sent letters to school neighbors and news coverage has been provided to inform the community about SRTS activities.
Eastern Highlands Health District (Mansfield, CT)
Contact: Ande Bloom (BloomA@mansfieldct.org)
The Eastern Highlands Health District will build a Safe Routes to School coalition in Tolland, Connecticut, a small rural community in the northeastern corner of the state. The administration and staff at ParkerMemorialSchool, serving 3rd & 4th graders fully support this initiative, although currently there is a “no walker/no bike rider” policy for the school. This grant will provide the resources to evaluate safe routes and address the concerns of many stakeholders including school administration, teachers, parents, students and community leaders & safety officers, and the opportunity to implement a plan that would not only allow, but encourage walking and bike riding to school.
Maricopa County Department of Public Health (Phoenix, AZ)
Contact: Toby Urvater (TobyUrvater@mail.maricopa.gov)
The Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) Office of Health Promotion and Education (OHPE) proposes to use Safe States Alliance grant funds to establish and maintain a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program at Maryland Elementary in Phoenix, Arizona. This project will form a Safe Routes to School coalition, the SRTS Coalition, and serve as a demonstration project that can be replicated in other schools and districts throughout MaricopaCounty. The coalition will collect baseline data, identify barriers, and design and implement activities to meet its goals and objectives. SRTS program activity is proposed to begin June 1, 2007. The first coalition meeting will be opened to the public and the group will be asked to share their vision and need for a SRTS program at their school. The SRTS Coalition will then form committees tasked with meeting the SRTS Coalition grant goal: to increase the number of students walking and biking safely to and from Maryland Elementary School. Subsequent meetings and activities will focus on gathering information and identifying both physical and other identified obstacles to walking or biking safely to school. Evaluation will be an on-going activity with a large focus placed on collecting adequate baseline figures so that the program progresses towards defined goals and objectives will be measured accurately. The coalition will also evaluate itself and seek feedback from members on their satisfaction with the process and experience of serving on the coalition.
Mecklenburg County Health Department (Charlotte, NC)
Contact: Kerry Burch (Kerry.Burch@carolinashealthcare.org)
The Mecklenburg County Health Department will create a partnership including local public health professionals, injury prevention specialists, law enforcement, and school officials to implement the Safe Routes to School program at a local elementary school and hold a Walk to School day to kick off the program. After completing the implementation process and evaluation of the process, our partnership will then create a tool kit for use within the entire district. This tool kit will provide schools with the necessary tips, tools, and resources to implement and sustain a SRTS program. Finally, through our partnership, we hope to identify a lead agency/champion that will continue this work and build upon the momentum gained from this grant project.
Union County Health Department (Marysville, OH)
Contact: Ms. Shawn Sech (SSECH@odh.ohio.gov)
Marysville, Ohio is located approximately 25 miles north west of Columbus. Although it is close to an urban area, Marysville maintains its small town, rural feel with a large agricultural base. The Safe Routes to School Mini-Grant at the Union County Health Department is designed to work with a minimum of two to four elementary schools in the MarysvilleExemptedVillageSchool District. The targeted schools have varying socio-economic levels; one school has 40% of its students on the free or reduced lunch program and the other two schools are located in the center of middle to upper middle class housing developments. The community currently has an existing active Safe Communities/Safe Kids Coalition which will serve as the anchor for the SRTS program and plan development. The goal of the initiative is to increase the number of students walking or biking to school while expanding the SC/SK coalition. Implementation of the SRTS in Marysville will have a strong emphasis on maintaining the program well after grant funds are available.