Tuesday, October 15, 2013
2013-2014 Grand Junction Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program
The program has hit the ground running this year with our first school, Orchard Avenue Elementary. The PE teacher, Principal, staff and PTA have been incredibly engaged in the road-safe education. The encouragement week (dubbed "Walking and Wheeling Week") was a huge success. We had an unbelievable turnout of kids, starting with 70 kiddos walking or wheeling in to school and 10 helmets worn on Monday. By Friday the classic Colorado sunshine/sleet/rain/snow/wind/sun day happened and still 144 students walked and wheeled to school, 20 of them wearing helmets (a few were walkers with helmets on for the double-raffle ticket offer). A local bike shop and R-5 high school bike mechanics came to an after-school rodeo/maintenance event and replaced about 30 tubes and performed simple repairs to another 30 bicycles; Grand Valley Bikes instructors were on hand to adjust 15 student’s helmets.
Last Friday we held the SRTS training/refresher course We had 10 new PE teachers training in SRTS education, 2 teachers in for a refresher, and 3 Colorado Mesa University student-teachers attend for a high-energy course! They all signed up for the program and we even sent one home with helmets to teach proper helmet fit to her students the following week. This program continually astounds me, and after these last few weeks I'm reminded that it leaves a positive impression on the schools accepting this program, too!
Check out some media coverage the program received at:
The Mesa County Health Department (MCHD) has gotten involved in the sustainability aspects of the program: mobile bicycle classroom annual scheduling, transporting and housing, walk audit coordination and compilation, SRTS annual training for PE teachers and instructors, and the extended offer to provide any additional services we might need. The MCHD will also be using the community walk audit template and inventory the entire School District 51 area as part of their Built Environment efforts! Thanks for the leadership and support, MCHD!!
We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand this comprehensive Safe Routes to School program in our community, and for the positive embrace the Grand Valley has taken to the program.