Monday, February 8, 2010

Safe Routes to School Online Webinar

Connecting Safe Routes to School with Health
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

Presenter: Arthur Wendel, M.D., M.P.H., Healthy Community Design Initiative, The National Center for Environmental Health, CDC

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) has the potential for catalyzing a substantial improvement in transportation's effect on health. Over 50 million students and nearly 5 million teachers travel to school each day. Trips to school via walking or bicycling are on the decline. In 1969, 50% of children walked or bicycled to school, but by 2001, only 15% walked or bicycled. In some cities, it has been estimated that up to 25% of peak morning travel is due to parents driving their children to school. Concurrently, as this loss of utilitarian physical activity has occurred, rates of chronic diseases associated with low levels of physical activity, like diabetes, are rising, and injury and environmentally-mediated diseases remain important causes of childhood illness.

In this 60 minute webinar, Arthur Wendel will discuss how SRTS could provide a host of health benefits. Such as, how walking or bicycling to school can increase physical activity, provided children do not reduce other forms of activity. And how, by reducing automobile trips to school, less air pollution will be created, and by designing the infrastructure surrounding schools to support safe travel, trips made by walking or bicycling could be safer. He will also discuss the other positive benefits, such as increased social capital or improved academic performance that might be realized, as well as, the effect of Safe Routes to School infrastructure on others beyond the student population.

This webinar is part of the Safe Routes to School Coaching Action Network Webinar Series, developed by America Walks and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

For more information please contact Michelle Gulley, at

To register for this online event click here.


Remember! March 3 is Walk to School Day!


Anonymous said...

My kids love Walk to School day. There was one in the fall, and the school PTA really did a nice job. It's too bad that the bloated DCSS Transportation Dept. ignores any Walk to School Day programming.
For every child walking to school, that's one less car clogging a school pickup lane in the morning and afetrnoon.

Harold Lewis, the guy who got promoted after he claimed he was a victim of sexual harassment by Pat Pope, who has a huge salary, is in charge of special projects for DCSS Transportation. Safe Routes seems like a special project he should be developing at every DCSS school. Former Board of Ed member frances Edwards' son in law David Guillory is in charge of DCSS Transportation at a big salary. Have never heard him mention anything about Safe Routes and Walk to School Day. And almost all of our DCSS school buses are older and produce massive amounts of particle exhaust, which is a key asthma trigger. There are federal grants to retrofit school buses with newer, more clean exhaust systems. Just one more thing other systems are doing but is not a priority at DCSS.

Cerebration said...

My son and his buddy on our street used to ride their bikes to school every day. It was only a little over a half-mile through the neighborhood - no busy streets to cross. They were so cute - they felt so cool to have to lock up their bikes and lug helmets into school every day. Plus - they couldn't wait to go to school - they'd even go early. These same boys also spent hours exploring the creek in our neighborhood. They played their share of video games, but they surely spent a lot of time outdoors - exploring and learning about the world. Old-fashioned living in the big city - and they were perfectly safe.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it about a year ago when the young student was killed crossing in front of Princeton Elementary? The county and school system still don't work together as they should with safety concerns in front of and around our public schools. They need to put aside their difference for once, and work together hand in glove on this.

Anonymous said...

"Safe Routes to School" schools in DeKalb County

Livsey Elementary- Gold
Knollwood Elementary- Gold
Glennwood Academy- Gold
Oakhurst Elementary- Gold
Winnona Park Elementary- Gold
Clairemont Elementary- Gold
Kingsley Charter Elementary- Silver
Henderson Mill Elementary- Bronze
Briarlake Elementary- Bronze
Mary Lin Elementary- Bronze
Oak Grove Elementary- Gold
Sagamore Hills Elementary- Bronze
Hawthorne Elementary- Silver
Torah Day School- Bronze
Chesnut Charter Elementary- Bronze
Vanderlyn Elementary- Bronze

Dear Friends and School Champions,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying 2010 thus far. It is hard to believe that it is already February! Georgia Walk to School Day is less than a month away and I am excited to hear about your plans. As a reminder, Georgia W2S Day will be held on Wednesday, March 3. Don't forget we have flyers and other downloadable materials available on our website to help plan your event.

School Newsletter Blurb:
Consider designating a section in your school's newsletter for fun facts, tips, and information on Safe Routes to School!

"Easy. Did you know it only takes about 19 minutes to walk 1 mile? Try walking to school or one of your other destinations. You might be surprised how quickly you get there."

"Clean. Exhaust emissions from vehicles are one of the leading causes of climate change, urban smog, and acid rain. Although vehicles are more fuel efficient and pollute less than they used to, emissions are still growing, given the increasing number of vehicles on the road."

"Healthy. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans aged 6-17 years recommend 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The journey to and from school can be part of the recommended 60 minutes. In fact studies have shown that walking to and from school five days a week can burn as many calories as two hours of physical education."

"All Year Round. There is no such thing as “bad weather” only “bad clothing”. Dress for the weather (raincoats and boots, hats, mitts etc.) and enjoy outdoor activity all year round."

February: American Heart Month
March 3: Georgia Walk to School Day
April 22: Earth Day
April 25 - May 3: Safe Kids Week
May: National Bike Month
May 17-21: Bicycle Safety Week
October 6: International Walk to School Day

Be informed and inform others! Find out who has the right of way in and out of the crosswalk?
Many drivers aren’t sure what to do when they encounter a pedestrian. In 1995 the Georgia legislature changed the crosswalk law such that drivers must “stop and stay stopped” for pedestrians, not just yield to them. Be sure you know the law. You’ll avoid a ticket and maybe save a life.
For more information please visit:

Connecting Safe Routes to School and Health Tues., Feb., 23, 2010, 2-3 p.m. EST
The National Center for Safe Routes to School partners with America Walks to offer a series of SRTS-related Webinars. The Safe Routes Coaching Action Network Webinars are designed to educate individuals and organizations on topics that will assist with successful outreach efforts. This month's is called "Connecting SRTS and Health" and will discuss how SRTS could provide a host of health benefits. To sign-up for this free webinar visit:

Please let me know if you have questions or if I can be of further assistance. Have a great week!


Abby Mattera
School Outreach Coordinator - Metro Atlanta
Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center
Direct: 404.441.5728
Hotline: 1.877.GDOT.W2S or 1.877.436.8927

Anonymous said...

I wish my kids could walk to school! We moved to GA a few years ago, and was shocked at the lack of sidewalks there were down here. Our elementary school is less than a mile away, and just have to walk down one street mainly. But cars fly down this street and without any sidewalks I'd hate to have something happen to us on our way to school. If there were safer routes to schools, I'm sure more people would utilize them.