Update from the Montana Safe Routes to School Program
Montana Safe Routes to School continues to improve safety and healthy options for children across Montana. In March of 2012, Montana Safe Routes to School announced $928,406 in Safe Routes to School awards for state fiscal year 2013, which began July 1, 2012. Six communities were awarded infrastructure funding for projects ranging from $14,000 for signing and crossing improvements to $114,386 for a pathway in eastern Montana. The infrastructure projects were awarded in communities that were able to leverage transportation enhancement money with Safe Routes to School funding. Most of these projects are in small rural communities where improvements like this will make walking and bicycling to safer and more convenient for the students in these on their journeys to school and home.
The funding awards also included $454,050 in non-infrastructure programs. This funding will be used by 33 communities across the state to increase education and encouragement opportunities for students. Montana Safe Routes to School will be accepting applications for FY 2014 until December 31, 2012.
A major focus of the Montana Safe Routes to School program over the past three years has been to provide training to teachers with the goal of having bike and pedestrian education entrenched in Health Enhancement classrooms across the state. Montana Safe Routes to School has provided funding to Journeys from Home Montana to conduct full day workshops. Journeys from Home Montana has trained more than 130 teachers to make K-5 bike and pedestrian education an integral part of the health enhancement curriculum.