It’s About the Children

Stephanie WeberAnother summer is behind us. My daughter is being reminded of what the world looks like at 7:00am as we implement a plan to get her back on a school schedule before the alarm clock rudely does its job on Tuesday, September 4.

In this line of work, we begin to think about walking and bicycling to school again, too. Of course, we never really stop, but the messaging varies, doesn’t it? As Congress worked on reauthorization of the federal transportation legislation, messages of how walkable and bikeable communities make economic sense and provide for healthier lifestyles became central arguments. These are phenomenal messages. I’m an economist by training, so I particularly like talking about the economic benefits. But when I look at my daughter and her friends, I want a world where they don’t even have to think about whether or not it’s safe to ride their bicycles to school, whether it’s the healthier alternative or whether it's economical. In an ideal world, they can because they want to

So as children across the country return to school, I wanted to share a couple of exciting things that are happening for the children or by the children in the regions where we have policy managers working.

In the Port Towns in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a local church hosted a youth leadership summer camp—the “Wellness Ambassadors Leadership Program. A group of 30 students, ages 10 to 17, wrapped up their camp with a presentation to community leaders, providing recommendations on how to improve their community. I was impressed with what I read. Read more here. 

Meanwhile, Jessica Meaney, our Southern California policy director, took to the airwaves with Safe Routes to School champion, Kara Sergile, and others in the Los Angeles area to talk about starting the school year off on the right foot (yes, pun intended). They are in the process of following this episode up with one focusing on student leaders, so stay tuned! You can read more—and even listen in—here