All Outstanding Community Friends

Below is a list of community partners who have gone the extra mile to help promote the Safe Routes to School Resource Center and have had positive effects on our School Partners and on the SRTS program as a whole.

If your organization, or an organization that you work with, has a success story regarding Safe Routes to School, please complete the “Outstanding Friend Nomination”.

Territory 1: Midlands Friends

Safe Kids Sumter County hosts various events to provide safety education on an array of topics to families of Sumter County. Kids Fest is an annual event hosted by Safe Kids Sumter County which brings in over 1,500 students. All public and private elementary schools in the county are invited to participate in this free event. Students walk though fifteen interactive safety stations including “Safety Town,” helmet safety, stranger danger, and fire safety. The Resource Center has led the “Safety Town” portion which explains the importance of pedestrian safety. Students leave the event with educational handouts from each of the stations to share with their families. Safe Kids Sumter County also conducts bicycle rodeos throughout the county to teach bicycle and safety skills to young riders.  During helmet-safety lessons, rodeo volunteers drop eggs onto the ground, to demonstrate how fragile childrens’ heads are, and to stress the importance of wearing a helmet.

Palmetto Health – Office of Community Health works with schools, churches, work sites, and various community members to promote healthy lifestyles. Health Educators provide nutrition and physical activity lectures to all groups in the community upon request. “Healthy Palmetto” encourages individuals to increase their physical activity by providing free walking clubs and programs to the community. Visit their website to see where the nearest walking club is located. Palmetto Health recently launched their new “Health Pals” program which provides peer support and assistance to individuals making lifestyle changes. Palmetto Health also recently partnered with Lewis Greenview Elementary, a Travel Plan recipient, to pilot their Triple Aim Initiative. In addition, Palmetto Health has partnered with our schools to provide services at Walking Events and Health Fairs.

South Carolina Office of Healthy Schools – SC Healthy Schools works to improve the academic achievement and health of school-aged children, school faculty and staff, and communities. The SC Healthy Schools effort supports and promotes schools and communities working together to improve:

  • health, physical education and physical activity;
  • social, emotional and psychological health;
  • knowledge of nutritional choices and health services;
  • staff wellness and health promotion; and
  • access to a healthy and safe environment for students and staff.

Healthy Schools Award Winners have successfully implemented and incorporated the use of strategies, programs, services and environments that provide support and reinforcement for positive health behaviors among students and staff. The SC Healthy Schools Award process offers schools an opportunity to showcase their hard work and efforts in becoming a healthy school. Award recipients must successfully document that their school is implementing, coordinating, and integrating quality school health programming using a team approach. 

The South Carolina Department of Health and Control’s Office of Healthy Schools has been an avid supporter of South Carolina Safe Routes to Schools and is a participant in the School Transportation Safety Assessments.

Eat Smart Move More Kershaw County (ESMMKC) has been striving to make Kershaw County a healthier community. They were awarded a grant through the Healthy South Carolina Initiative to fund a county-wide trails and greenways plan, which includes a proposed on- and off-street bikeway, walkway, and trail network, as well as recommended policies and programs to encourage usage of the bikeway, walkway, and trail network and to promote safe bicycling, walking, and driving practices.  ESMMKC members have been actively involved with all Safety Walk Audits in Kershaw County Schools. In addition, members played a key role with Jackson School’s Travel Plan and have been assisting at school health and safety fairs, which schools are organizing to reach the “Gold Partner” level status with the Resource Center.

The City of Columbia Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) advises the City of Columbia Transportation Planning Staff, Mayor and City Council Members on bicycling and pedestrian issues in the City of Columbia. They also host group rides throughout the week for all levels of riding. BPAC has recently teamed up with the Resource Center, Safe Kids Midlands, City of Columbia Parks and Recreation, and City of Columbia Police Department to hold the Columbia Family Bicycle Rodeo in Finlay Park on May 4, 2013. Children peddled through bike safety stations and had helmet fittings. Afterwards, officers from the Police Department escorted riders along part of the Columbia Greenways Path for a group ride. Check out what else BPAC has going on by taking a look at their calendar.


Territory 2: Upstate Friends

GET FIT is a program sponsored by Emerald City Bikes in Greenwood, SC. GET FIT has helped enroll schools in the SRTS program, planned Walk to School Day events and Bike Rodeos, and sponsored an essay contest at elementary schools about the benefits of bike riding and donated a bicycle to the winner! Mr. Eubanks regularly donates bicycles to students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to own a bicycle. He also, makes a point to spend time with the students when he visits each school. As a Friend of the Resource Center, GET FIT has also assisted with SRTS Safety Assessments and grants.

Safe Kids York County has partnered with the Resource Center on many initiatives. Most recently, efforts have focused on training Safety Patrols in York County about pedestrian, bicycle, and car rider safety. To date, Safe Kids York County has trained six Safety Patrol groups. Additionally, Safe Kids York County assists with other safety education initiatives such as assemblies and bike rodeos!

The Children’s Museum (TCM) of the Upstate has an onsite Trike Track. Staff members use the spring, summer, and fall months to promote bicycle safety and encourage families to walk and bicycle in their communities. TCM also works with nearby schools to plan walking field trips to visit the museum. Most recently, TCM partnered with the Resource Center to host a “Walk Shop” for its middle school Michelin YES! program. The YES! Program students received training on common pedestrian engineering treatments and then conducted a mock Walkability Assessment around the museum grounds. Students were encouraged to take this information back to their individual middle schools to identify safe walking routes!

The Spartanburg Police Department assists schools across the City of Spartanburg by providing officers to help with:

  • Walk to School Days – Officers escort walkers and control traffic along the walking route.
  • Bike to School Days – Officers give bike safety presentations and lead bicycle trains on Bike to School Days.
  • Bicycle Rodeos – Officers cover many topics including how to correctly fit a helmet, how to check your brakes and tire pressure, and how to properly signal turns and stops while riding on a bicycle.
  • Safety Presentations and Assemblies – Students learn life-long skills as the officers teach pedestrian safety and bike safety.
  • School Zone Traffic Enforcement – Ongoing driver enforcement is critical for those students who walk and bike to school on a regular basis, not just on the event days.

Eat Smart Move More York County (ESMMYC) has been working hard to promote physical activity via their Active Community Environments (ACE) initiatives funded by the Healthy South Carolina Initiative (HSCI). In the spring of 2013, ESMMYC hosted an informational workshop for schools interested in developing fitness trails on their campuses. Furthermore, ESMMYC accepted applications from the workshop attendees to receive free technical assistance to develop detailed plans for their trails. ESMMYC has also focused efforts on bicycle education by facilitating the development of bicycle education curriculum to be utilized in physical education classes and after school care programs as well as assisting with bicycle rodeos thought York County in honor of National Bike Month.

In 2012, LiveWell Greenville was awarded a $1.95 million Community Transformation Grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support healthy choices in schools and after school sites in Greenville County. With this funding, LiveWell Greenville has implemented the following initiatives to help schools promote healthy choices, including:

  • LiveWell Schools designation: The LiveWell at Schools program provides schools an inventory checklist (which contains SRTS-related elements) to jumpstart their health and wellness programs. This inventory checklist will help schools identify goals, document successes, and receive recognition for their efforts. Schools meeting the minimum standards will receive the LiveWell Schools designation and $250 to help support their health and wellness programs! The first round of LiveWell Schools were awarded May 1, 2013.
  • Safe Routes to School Enhancement Plans: LiveWell Greenville has partnered with Upstate Forever to facilitate the development of SRTS Enhancement Plans for eight schools in Greenville County. These SRTS Enhancement Plans are awarded to schools via an application process and will be similar to Travel Plans previously created by the Resource Center.
  • Bicycle Curriculum: LiveWell Greenville used some funds to partner with Safe Kids Upstate and develop an elementary bicycle curriculum. They also used funds to purchase a bike trailer and a fleet of bicycles. Schools in Greenville County are eligible to reserve the trailer of bicycles for a week to implement the bicycle curriculum with their students in PE class!

Partners for Active Living (PAL) continues to help promote SRTS activities and opportunities to schools in Spartanburg County. PAL offers assistance to schools interested in participating in International Walk to School Day, South Carolina Walk to School Day and National Bike to School Day. PAL will help schools plan events, communicate with Law Enforcement and disseminate press releases to the media. PAL, with help from SC DHEC Region 2, Chartwells and Safe Kids of Spartanburg, also recognizes outstanding Walk to School events with the Golden Shoe Award. Schools must apply for this recognition and may potentially win $500 cash! Lastly, for schools looking to offer more opportunities for physical activity, PAL will assist schools in starting a Walking and Wheeling Wednesday (W3) program which coordinates weekly Walk to School events!

Chartwells K12 School Dining Services provides school breakfast, lunch, and snacks in Spartanburg School Districts 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7. They partner with schools to serve healthy breakfasts and snacks on International Walk to School Day. Additionally, they send mascots to participate in the school walks and provide lessons on nutrition education to compliment the physical activity messages often emphasized by the Walk to School Day events.

Chartwells is also the largest sponsor of the Golden Shoe Awards in Spartanburg County. These awards include a first, second, and third place, and a "Breakthrough Award" to recognize a new school or district that participated in International Walk to School Day for the first time. Competition is tough for the Golden Shoe Awards. The process recognizes Spartanburg County districts or schools and their coordinators, as well as encourages Spartanburg County's high participation rate for events.

Territory 3: Lowcountry Friends

Trek Bicycle Store of Mount Pleasant has supported SRTS, and Safe Kids Trident Area, at the Moultrie Middle School and Jennie Moore Elementary bike rodeos. Trek employee Chris Clark educated students about bicycle maintenance and preparedness for safe riding. The demonstration was an incredibly valuable part of the bike rodeo, and the students not only enjoyed, but learned a lot, from the presentation.

The North Charleston Police Bike Team is a key partner in the Lowcountry. Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) SafeKids, Safe Routes to School, and the North Charleston Police Bike Team have all partnered to conduct Bike Rodeos, Safety Events, and Health and Wellness days throughout North Charleston and the greater Lowcountry region. When the Police Bike Team comes out to a Bike Rodeo, they work with the children on helmet fittings, bicycle preparation, and biking skills. Each officer is instrumental in instructing Bike Rodeo participants in how to be as safe as possible. Often, the officers field questions from students about “catching bad guys” on their bikes. They are an invaluable organization serving and protecting the community and providing important bicycle safety education to thousands of students.

Eat Smart, Move More Charleston Tri-County (ESMM CTC) has incorporated Safe Routes to School (SRTS) into their Physical Activity and Active Community Environment initiatives. Through the Healthy SC Initiative (HSCI), a local trail received funding for signage to increase usage and visibility of the trail. The Resource Center assisted with a Travel Plan at one of the schools along the trail and recommendations identified within the Travel Plan were included in the ESMM CTC HSCI grant. For SC Walk to School Day the trail was also utilized by schools as a safe walking route! ESMM CTC also supports Walk to School events by recruiting volunteers and assisting with promoting school events in the area. The Coalition has a radio talk show called Total Wellness Tuesday. The Resource Center has been invited as a guest speaker and Walk/Bike to School Day events have been featured as show topics! 

Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Lowcountry Region - The local Lowcountry DHEC Health Education Department has assisted with school walk audits and outreach with schools in Dorchester County. DHEC has provided expertise in organizing walk audits for local schools and assisted with a community walk audit training in 2012. In Dorchester County, schools are encouraged to participate in SRTS activities as part of their physical activity initiatives with DHEC to complete the School Health Index Modules.

Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness (formerly known as MUSC’s the Lean Team) encourages schools in Charleston County to form wellness committees and complete a Wellness Checklist. Schools that reach an identified number of points and complete the goals in each wellness category receive $1000 to use on wellness initiatives. For the past three years, Safe Routes to School activities have been on this checklist! The Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness has also been instrumental in providing the Resource Center with training and presentation opportunities to school wellness champions within the school district. This district-wide initiative is now spreading to Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.

Safe Kids Trident Area Coalition in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester County has partnered with the Resource Center on activities for International Walk to School Day and National Bike to School Day. For International Walk to School Days in the fall, Safe Kids supplemented the Resource Center’s incentive items and resources for the event, a Walk to School Day guide was printed and distributed to all school partners in the three counties, and signs and banners were circulated to interested school champions.  Trident Area Safe Kids has also received a grant for a bicycle trailer. This great resource has provided the school community more opportunities to organize bicycle rodeos. Safe Kids and the Resource Center have partnered to organize many individual rodeos at schools and organized a community event utilizing the bicycle trailer. For National Bike to School Day, Trident Area Safe Kids received a grant to provide schools with additional resources including banners, zipper pulls, T-shirts, and more!