BikeWalkKC recently kicked off a Safe Routes to School pilot project at Kansas City Public Schools' James Elementary in the Old Northeast. This project integrates many of our Safe Routes to School programs into an intensive school-based effort with students, parents, teachers, administrators, and neighbors – all with the goal to make it safer and easier for kids to walk and bike to school.
The James Pilot Project
BLAST, Bicycle Lesson and Safety Training – our innovative school-based program to teach 5th graders bike safety and bike handling skills.
Earn-A-Bike – this hands on program teaches students bike repair skills and ends with a free bike for the student take home.
School travel plans – customized transportation plans that map out safe ways for students to walk and bike to school.
Policy review – analysis of school district and city plans and policies to ensure all policies and practices support walking and biking to school.
Advocacy training for parents and neighbors – empowering individuals to advocate for improvements like new sidewalks, better crosswalks, more police patrols, etc.
Professional Development – training and technical assistance for school officials to develop Safe Routes to School programs like Walking School Buses.
This pilot project is a partnership between BikeWalkKC and the Kansas City Public Schools, with funding from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and support from the Kansas City Police Department and Mattie Rhoades Center. We are developing a model of comprehensive Safe Routes to School programming that can be applied to any school in the metro area.
In 1969, 50% of children walked or biked to school. Today it's fewer than 15%.
burn off excess energy
and arrive ready to learn
Today's kids are the first generation of Americans with a shorter life expectancy than their parents – due in large part to getting far less physical activity during their daily routine. Childhood diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are all consequences of sedentary lifestyles. Encouraging kids to safely walk or bike to school is an important way to get more physical activity into their daily lives.
Bring this program to your school
Does your school need assistance improving walking and biking? We can help. BikeWalkKC can work with students direclty, and/or provide technical assistance and training to school officials. We can work with the school to find funding for these and other Safe Routes to School programs. For example, BikeWalkKC and KCPS were recently awarded federal funding to expand the James Elementary pilot program to several more schools this fall, so stay tuned for details about when and where we will be working.