The Safe Routes to School National Partnership and ChangeLab Solutions today released an interactive Safe Routes to School Policy Workbook tool that can be utilized by school boards and advocates to customize a Safe Routes to School district policy.
This tool walks the user through a series of policy options to help build a customized Safe Routes to School policy for school districts, which they can then download for the school board to adopt. It is designed to help school board members, administrators, families of students, and community members create and implement policies that support active transportation and Safe Routes to School programs.
In 1969, almost half of American students walked or bicycled to school. That number has shrunk to a mere 13 percent. School-aged children also have fewer opportunities at school for physical activity and recreation than they used to. That decrease in daily physical activity corresponds with a dramatic increase in childhood obesity that has resulted in a nationwide health epidemic.
School districts play a large role in encouraging families to allow their children to walk or bike to school. By putting good policies in place, school districts can support walking and bicycling, can make the trip safer for children on foot or bike, and can work with the local town or county to change the environment where children would walk and bike. This way, children can easily incorporate exercise into their day and arrive at school focused and ready to learn.