Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #102: August 2014
Safe Routes to School E-News is a monthly email newsletter published by the Safe Routes Partnership (Safe Routes Partnership), which is leading the national movement for Safe Routes to School by coordinating and energizing more than 650 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.
To receive future issues of E-News, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this issue:
- Back to School Roundup
- The Latest from Capitol Hill
- Safe Routes Partnership's 2013 Annual Report Now Available
- Place Matters in Combating Violence
- NAACP Adopts Resolution Supporting Equity and the Built Environment
- Portland Region Adopts Active Transportation Plan
- Partner Highlight: National School Plant Management Association
- Join Us At Pro Walk Pro Bike
- News From the Field
- Highlighted Blogs
Research shows that daily physical activity enhances brain performance and improves learning, yet only 4 percent of elementary schools and 8 percent of middle schools provide daily physical activity for students. As students pack their bags with new pencils, erasers and notebooks to head back to school this fall, here are a few steps that schools can take make sure students have every opportunity to get 60 minutes of activity each day.
- Open up school playgrounds and gyms after hours so community members have access to safe space to be physically active. Shared use is one of the most promising strategies to increase physical activity in a community. You’ll find sample policies, best practices, and the latest research at our Shared Use Clearinghouse.
- Support your active school by participating in Fire Up Your Feet. Fire Up Your Feet provides tools and resources (and cash!) to encourage families and students to be healthy and physically active before, during and after school. Schools in participating regions can win up to $5,000 in awards that can support physical activity and wellness programs. Learn more and sign up today.
- Take advantage of a new series of wellness briefs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Bridging the Gap highlighting opportunities to support wellness policies through evidence-based strategies. These briefs provide an assessment of policies across school districts nationwide, related to seven wellness policy components. They also highlight areas of opportunity for state agencies, school districts, and schools to strengthen wellness policy components.
Last week, after a tense back and forth between the House and Senate, Congress voted to extend our nation’s surface transportation programs through May, freeing themselves of the responsibility to identify long-term financing solutions. While a number of proposals have been floated, it seems that, at least for now, an increase in the gas tax is still off the table, leaving them empty handed and with no clear path forward. In this week’s blog, we look at how the nation once again finds itself staring down a series of short-term extensions, where Congress might take us next, and how we averted a near-miss on a potentially devastating amendment on funding for bicycling and walking.
The Safe Routes Partnership has released its 2013 Annual Report, highlighting a year of accelerating momentum and support for creating healthy, active communities across the U.S. and advancing the Safe Routes to School movement nationwide.Click here to download the report.
Studies show that lower-income and racial and ethnic minority people tend to live in neighborhoods with fewer and poorer quality sidewalks, fewer parks and open spaces, and more crime, social disorder and traffic. The lack of safe space to walk, bicycle, or be outside in a community has a direct impact on physical activity levels, job access, education options and housing quality. That’s why advocates for physical activity and healthy community design are focusing on eradicating violence and crime in underserved neighborhoods as a precursor to improving access to physical activity and improving the quality of life. Read more about the Safe Routes Partnership’s efforts to break down barriers between community safety and built environment advocacy on our blog.
Culminating a year of great equity work, in July the Safe Routes Partnership solidified our collaboration with the NAACP at their 105th Convention in Las Vegas with the unanimous passage of a national resolution to "support equitable opportunities and efforts in communities of color that reduce disparities and increase opportunities in the built environment which effect where families live, work and play."
The Council from Metro, the metropolitan planning organization for the Portland region, adopted their first Active Transportation Plan (ATP) on July 17. The ATP will update and strengthen pedestrian and bicycle policies in the 2014 update of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and help support local jurisdictions to complete the walking and bicycling projects identified by their communities. The ATP is also essential to Metro’s Climate Smart Communities Scenario Project. Based on the cost-benefit analysis of investments, it is clear that quickly implementing the ATP is a smart, low-cost and effective step toward meeting our requirement to address greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, and also to support the aspirations of local jurisdictions and people around the region who want vibrant neighborhoods with safe and reliable transportation options.Click here for more information.
The National School Plant Management Association (NSPMA) was formed in the interest of enhancing and promoting the educational process. Its purpose is to provide for the exchange of information that improves school plant management, maintenance and care through the promotion of acceptable policies, standards and practices; and to promote the professional advancement of school plant management personnel. NSPMA contributes to excellence in education through professional facility management.
NSPMA serves on our National Shared Use Task Force, providing insight into the school facilities and maintenance issues as it relates to shared use of school facilities. Their involvement highlights the importance of connecting education to the value of quality school facilities and the role they play in creating healthier communities.
On Wednesday, September 10, the Safe Routes Partnership will host our Annual Meeting at the Pro Walk Pro Bike conference in Pittsburgh. Join us for networking with fellow Safe Routes to School advocates and discussion of topics important to you at roundtable breakout groups. The meeting will be held during the Pro Walk Pro Bike conference on September 10 in Pittsburgh. Lunch will be provided to those that RSVP in advance. Click here to RSVP.
For those who recently participated in our Southern States focus groups, you'll have a chance to connect with Christy Smith, our Tennessee Advocacy Organizer, and Carrie Turner, our Southern States Coordinator, at this year's Southern Obesity Summit. The Summit will be in Louisville, KY, October 5th-7th. Our team will be presenting together, talking about the issues we work on and our efforts to create a sustained collaborative southern network. If you plan on attending the Southern Obesity Summit this year make sure to reach out to Christy Smith (email@example.com) and Carrie Turner (firstname.lastname@example.org).
California Communities Apply for $300 Million in Safe Routes to School Funding (Jeanie Ward Waller)
Safe Routes Partnership Leads in LA: Raising Voices for Better Walking and Bicycling (Jessica Meaney
For more information, contact: