New Safe Routes to School Programs in San Bernardino County
July 12, 2013 Leave a comment
The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health’s Healthy Communities program was awarded a Cycle 2 Federal Non Infrastructure Grant for implementing SRTS in High Desert Schools. There are eleven High Desert/Mountain school districts eligible for these funding services, including; Barstow, Slivery Valley, Oro Grande, Helendale, Adelanto, Victorville Elementary, Victor Valley High School, Apple Valley, Lucerne Valley, Hesperia, and Snowline. Plans are to bring SRTS training to students as well as adults to a target school in each of those districts. It is also planned to bring the adult training to all the schools in those districts.
The County High Desert Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Coordinator has met with most of the Superintendents of the districts, to explain the funding services and select the target schools. Each target school will receive a full day of student safety training, including a pedestrian/bicycle rodeo for students. Target schools will also receive a full day of adult SRTS training which incorporates the 5 “E”s of SRTS, two walking reviews of the school site, and climax to a planning session incorporating everything to which they have been introduced during the training.
The immediate benefits will be to the schools in the form of programs/projects designed to improve drop-off/pick-up traffic and enhance each student’s school day physical activity levels. The collateral benefits include planning for infrastructure changes within current budgets and enhancing chances for receiving grant awards due to the stakeholder training/synergism inherent in the adult SRTS Training. In addition, all non-target schools in every district will be eligible for the adult SRTS Training and those direct and collateral benefits.
During this summer break, plans are continuing for selecting the target schools, conducting planning meetings with the target school principals to prepare for the student and adult trainings during the 13/14 school year. All that’s required of the target schools is to provide the space and assist with communicating attendance opportunities. We’re quite excited about this ambitious venture and look forward to planting these SRTS seeds!