Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #106: December 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 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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- It's the Season for Reflection
- This Season, Give a Gift to Support the Safe Routes to School Movement
- The Latest from Capitol Hill
- New Report: Building a Culture of Health Through Active Transportation
- Now Hiring a New Executive Director
- Join Us as a Partner Affiliate
- Active Schools Fire Up to Win Awards for Physical Activity
- Join Us for Upcoming Webinars
- News from the Field
- Highlighted Blogs
1. It's the Season for Reflection
2014 was a promising year defined by community success stories, state and federal policy wins, and evidence-based advances at every level for walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School:
- Communities support active kids and healthy neighborhoods: Since we featured Fogarty Elementary School on our blog back in January, the South Providence school has gained media attention for its success in starting a walking school bus program to reduce chronic absenteeism.
- Research shows Safe Routes to School works: A Bridging the Gap study released in March found that participation in Safe Routes to School programs grew steadily over the past seven years in elementary schools nationwide and that students’ active travel was significantly higher in schools participating in Safe Route to School initiatives. In November, a new study published in the Journal of the American Planning Association confirms what those of us in the field have long known: Safe Routes to School programs are effective at increasing rates of walking and bicycling to and from school.
- Policy advances at the state and federal level:California leads by example with its new Active Transportation Program awarding nearly $220 to walking and bicycling programs statewide, including$72 million for Safe Routes to School. Meanwhile, our latest federal policy report, Safe Routes to School: How States are Adapting to a New Legislative Framework, gives reason for optimism as states adapt to MAP-21.
Thank you for your work to make 2014 a momentous year for Safe Routes to School and healthy community design, and setting the movement up for even greater success in 2015.
2. This Season, Give a Gift to Support the Safe Routes to School Movement
Our goal is simple: to create more communities that are designed to let you move. Designed for you and your bike. Designed for you to safely cross the street. Designed so that all children, no matter their zip code, can play.
You play a critical role in building the movement for healthy community design and Safe Routes to School. Your individual support provides vital general operating funds to provide communications support to our entire team and to share your successes with our partners and advocates working across the country.
As you give this holiday season, please make a small contribution to the Safe Routes Partnership. We have set a goal of 100 donors who will help to support our operations, make another kid smile and start another Safe Route to School – please join with us today.
3. The Latest from Capitol Hill
In the Wake of Midterm Elections, Big Changes Coming to Capitol Hill
The results of the November 4th elections were exactly what pollsters and political prognosticators had been indicating since early summer: a number of Republican pickups in the House, and enough wins in the Senate to take control for the first time since 2008. You can read more about the changes coming to Congress and what that might mean for walking and bicycling programs in our latest federal policy blog.
4. New Report: Building a Culture of Health Through Active Transportation
What happens when broad groups of stakeholders work together on behalf of our children? States put federal Safe Routes to School funds to good use, promoting bicycling and walking through infrastructure and education. Communities pass Complete Streets policies that will transform roadways over time to accommodate all users. And shared use agreements provide safe places for children to play, be active and live healthier lives.
Read the full story in our latest report, Safe Routes to School State Network Project: Building a Culture of Health through Active Transportation.
5. Now Hiring a New Executive Director
The Safe Routes Partnership is seeking a new Executive Director to provide leadership, strategic vision and direction to fulfill the Safe Routes Partnership's mission and vision and take the organization to the next level of growth, development and impact.
This is a compelling opportunity to lead an award-winning advocacy organization and the only national nonprofit organization with the capacity, depth of knowledge, network and strategic influence that connects transportation with safe, healthy community design to benefit kids, families and schools everywhere. Join the Safe Routes Partnership to help us build upon current policy and programmatic successes in the movement to create safe, healthy and livable communities throughout the United States.
The position description has full details on the role, responsibilities and ideal candidate profile.
Please forward this announcement to your networks!
6. Join Us as a Partner Affiliate
Did you know that it’s free to become a partner affiliate of the National Partnership? Partner affiliates play an important role in advancing policy change, implementing Safe Routes to School programs, and spreading the word about critical issues, new research and best practices. They also get involved with our networks across the country to advance policies at the state and regional level.
Our partner affiliates represent all levels of groups and organizations, from local groups to businesses that support healthy community design. Stand with us for safe walking and bicycling and more access to physical activity – join us today!
7. Active Schools Fire Up to Win Awards for Physical Activity
More than 100 schools across the country brought home Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenge awards this fall thanks to record-breaking participation in the Safe Routes Partnership's school-based activity tracking program.
“Fire Up Your Feet has helped remind us as a family, as a school and as a community just how important physical activity is for the mind, body and soul,” said Kristin Snipes, a parent at Monocacy Valley Montessori School in Frederick County, MD. “Obviously, the chance to win a reward for participation is great motivation, but once you get started, you realize how great it feels to get moving! You encourage your children to get out and play more. You take the bikes out more often. Anything that gets our children (and our families) moving is awesome!”
Click here to see a list of all the winning schools.
8. Join Us for Upcoming Webinars
Join the Safe Routes Partnership for two upcoming webinars in December.
Complete Streets in the South
December 9th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern – Register here
Join us for our first Southern forum webinar, “Complete Streets in the South,” on December 9, 2014 from 2 – 3 PM ET. The webinar will explore the process used to create Complete Streets in a variety of southern settings, including case studies from rural Kentucky, Memphis, TN, and urban Broward County, FL.
Safe Routes to School as a Tool to Address Chronic Absenteeism
December 15th at 2:30 p.m. Eastern – Register here
What is the relationship between student transportation and attendance? Safe Routes to School is teaming up with Attendance Works to explore how we can help students get to school every day. This webinar will discuss how transportation can be a barrier to school attendance and highlight Safe Routes to School as a resource to help communities address chronic absenteeism.
9. News from the Field
Regional Bike/Ped Plan Adopted in the Greater Washington, DC region
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has updated its Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan for the National Capital Region. The plan is updated every four years with input frommember jurisdictions in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and includes both funded and unfunded projects. Martin De Caro of WAMUcrunched the numbers and found that the updated plan includes more than 500 new bicycle and pedestrian projects totaling more than 2,000 new miles of bike lanes, 2,000 miles of shared use paths and hundreds of new bicycle routes through the year 2040. In addition, the plan includes a section on Safe Routes to School efforts in the region. Click for more details.
Lessons on Safe Routes to School in Rural New Jersey
Most people think of New Jersey as an urban place -- after all, it has the highest population density in the country. But contrary to what you might think, there are lessons to be learned in New Jersey about Safe Routes to School in rural settings. Read more on our blog.
10. Highlighted Blogs
Watch an interview with California Policy Manager Jeanie Ward-Waller on the California Health Report
PeopleForBikes is hours away from its goal of uniting a million people in support of better bicycling! Help spread the word.
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