Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #86: April 2013
Safe Routes to School E-News is a monthly email newsletter published by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership (National Partnership), which is leading the national movement for Safe Routes to School by coordinating and energizing more than 600 organizations, government agencies, schools and professional groups. Our mission is to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America’s children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities.
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In This Issue:
This week, we celebrate the eighth annual National Public Health Week, led by our long-standing partner affiliate, the American Public Health Association. And this year, one of the main themes of National Public Health Week, “Providing a Safe Environment for Children At School,” resonates strongly with the goals of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and amplifies the urgent need to address physical activity opportunities for kids both at schools and in our communities.
The drumbeat continues to beat louder than ever. Our movement to create healthy, active lifestyles and communities is gaining momentum every day and at every level. National leaders, including the Surgeon General and foundation leaders as well as local champions, parents, and Safe Routes to School coordinators in your community, join a chorus of voices calling for safe, complete streets and healthy, active communities. Efforts among our partners, such as National Public Health Week, will reach a crescendo this month.
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Reframing our messages around Safe Routes to School
At the National Bike Summit this year, a consultant for the League of American Bicyclists presented the results of in-depth interviews about bicycling and policy with Hill staff for policy makers who both supported and opposed bicycle and pedestrian policies in recent votes. The results from that study are applicable to how all of us talk about Safe Routes to School to policymakers at any level. Read more about the study findings and suggestions for Safe Routes to School messaging in this month’s federal policy blog. And put it into practice when talking to your mayors, city councilors and school board members!
The National Partnership is pleased to announce that new staff member Molly Simon has joined the staff as our Operations Manager. Molly is based in San Francisco and is responsible for ensuring smooth operations for many aspects of the organization and its staff. She works with the National Partnership’s leadership and steering committee on financial, human resources, operational, and event planning tasks, and spearheads the organization’s technical support.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is also hiring a School and Family Engagement Manager. Applications are due April 15, 2013 by noon ET. Learn more about how to apply by reading the job announcement.
The Safe Route to School National Conference is just four months away and organizers are working hard on developing the conference program as well as several exciting special features. Information will be posted in the next few weeks about the more than 60 dynamic conference sessions, ten tours of model projects, scholarship opportunities, continuing education accreditation, youth engagement, registration rates, and special events. Early bird registration will open up the first week in May.
There are still several opportunities to get involved in the conference and elevate your organization, agency or company profile and focus on Safe Routes to School issues and projects by becoming a conference sponsor. Go online to see a detailed list of the different sponsorship levels and associated benefits, and other unique sponsorship opportunities. There is also a NEW Exhibitor Option that has just been added!
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership also encourages you to come to Sacramento a day early to attend our Annual Meeting which will take place on Monday, August 12 from 1-5 PM, followed by a Safe Routes Social. Those of you from California can also sign-up for an Advocacy Day on the afternoon of Thursday, August 15, meeting with policy makers in the capitol, right after the conference ends. Online Registration for the conference, our Annual Meeting and the California Advocacy Day will launch in May. Visit the conference website for more details on registration and sponsor levels and benefits.
Plus, ASAP grant opportunity for schools
We are proud to be a partner of the new Let’s Move Active Schools initiative with our Fire Up Your Feet program. Let’s Move Active School is managed in partnership with several of our national partners, including AAPHERD, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. It is exciting to work together with the office of the First Lady to engage individual champions and reach toward our shared goal of engaging 50,000 schools with 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
In select areas the country, Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenges are up and running this spring. You can sign up today and start tracking your family's activity online! It only takes a minute or two to register, and its free. Just go to fireupyourfeet.org and click on "Get Started." You will be taken to the customized site for your state or region, and then you can start tracking activities for your family or classroom and exploring the other resources, including a healthy fundraising program, that the program offers for all grade schools throughout the US.
In other news for schools looking for grant opportunities, our friends and Let's Move Active Schools partners, our friends at Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP) have a new opportunity for all Safe Routes Schools, or any school looking to be more active.
ASAP is awarding $1 million in grants to give schools across America the resources they need to become active schools.
Last year, ASAP's Innovation Competition discovered incredibly innovative physical activity programs happening in schools all across the country spearheaded by grassroots champions like you. Now these fun, flexible, and creative programs are ready to share with the nation. Teachers, moms, dads, coaches and all school wellness champions are encouraged to apply to receive one of these programs and a $1,000 grant to get started. Learn more and apply today at www.ActiveSchoolsASAP.org.
Our monthly technical assistance webinar series features expert speakers, a chat feature for participants, and archived downloadable post-webinar recordings. Join us for these upcoming webinars:
Maximizing District-Wide Impact of Safe Routes to School: Educating School District Transportation Departments
April 18th, 2013 @ 2pm Eastern - Register here
Safe Routes to School can easily support district transportation departments in identifying ways to safely get children active commuting to school while decreasing traffic congestion during arrival and dismissal periods.
Maximizing District-Wide Impact of Safe Routes to School: Educating Principals and School Boards
May 16th, 2013 @ 2pm Eastern – Register here
In this webinar we’ll explore strategies that principals and school boards are currently employing to encourage more walking and bicycling to school.
See the National Learning Network page for registration for future webinars.
Having passion and knowing intuitively that physical activity and built environment are cornerstones of supporting the childhood obesity fight is simply not enough. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s State Network Project seeks good data to support advocacy work on our policy priorities of: 1) leveraging funding; (2) street scale improvements (Complete Streets); and (3) shared/joint use agreements - all with a keen focus on equity.
A data overload is a good thing! Our seven state advocacy organizers in our network states (CA, FL, MS, NC, NJ, OH, TN) have been collecting data as a tool for supporting and strategically establishing advocacy targets. Data collection and evaluation are the linchpins of our work - please read more on our State Network Pages (CA, FL, MS, NC, NJ, OH, TN) and learn how you can get involved with our action teams in these states.
In the past month, regional network project staff have seen significant steps in their metropolitan areas toward embracing active transportation and a health in all policies approach. A few examples: the Atlanta Regional Commission created a new Center for Livable Communities; Washington, D.C. kicked off efforts to create a multi-modal transportation plan; and the City of Los Angeles held its first strategic planning session for creating a citywide Safe Routes to School plan for its 425 schools. These are only a few examples of the metamorphosis to make our communities more active and healthier.
Applicants for the Round 6 cycle of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) general grants are getting ready to make their presentations to the Statewide Advisory Committee (SAC) on Monday, April 15, 2013. In the meantime, potential local sponsors are looking forward to the announcement of the schedule for Round 7, the final cycle for SAFETEA-LU funds. The deadline will likely be in mid- September, shortly after schools open, and awards should be announced in April 2014. + READ MORE
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