Press releases

South Carolina Safe Routes to School Forum

June, 2015

COLUMBIA - The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is inviting educators, school administrators, local officials, planners, engineers, parents, and all interested persons from across the state to a free Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) Forum.  The event – the first of its kind in the state – will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, 2015, at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.

Participants will hear from SRTS champions, bicycle and pedestrian advocates, SCDOT officials, and public health professionals. Plenary and breakout sessions will cover topics such as bicycle and pedestrian safety, ways to encourage walking and bicycling to and from school, and infrastructure planning and strategies. While attendees enjoy lunch, Andrew Kaczynski, PhD, will provide the keynote presentation. Dr. Kaczynski is a faculty member in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, a co-investigator with the CDC Prevention Research Center, and Director of the Built Environment and Community Health (BEACH) Laboratory (www.beachlab.sc.edu) within the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.

Registration, agenda, and complete details about the Forum are available at:  http://www.scsaferoutes.org/events/forum   Registration closes on Sunday, June 14, 2015, so do not delay in signing up to participate!

The SC Safe Routes to School Resource Center is a federally-funded project of the South Carolina Department of Transportation. It provides hands-on education, promotional, and planning support to partnered schools throughout South Carolina to help build and sustain SRTS programs. Services and materials are provided at no cost to K-8th grade schools and their communities.

For more information about the SRTS Forum, other events, materials, and opportunities to participate in SRTS programs, contact the Resource Center’s School Outreach Coordinators, or go to www.SCSafeRoutes.org.

For additional information about SCDOT’s SRTS program, please contact Rodney Oldham, SCDOT Safe Routes to School State Coordinator at oldhamr@scdot.org

Communities throughout South Carolina Set to Participate in National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

April, 2015

Charleston, SC - Students across the country will celebrate National Bike to School Day and Bicycle Month in May. The fourth annual National Bike to School Day is on Wednesday, May 6th. Sponsored by the National Center for Safe Routes to School, this event builds on the popularity and success of International Walk to School Day, held throughout the world every October and encourages schools across the country to take part in bike-focused activities. Bike to School Day events help to raise awareness of the need for safer routes for bicycling and walking, emphasize the need to increase physical activity among children, help to improve bicycle safety skills, and serve to reduce traffic congestion.

Here in South Carolina, schools and communities are planning to host a variety of events including encouraging students to bike to school, educating students about bicycle safety, and holding bicycle rodeos and assemblies. Schools’ bicycle and pedestrian safety education efforts are supported by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and the SC Safe Routes to School Resource Center, a federally-funded project of SCDOT. The Resource Center provides education, encouragement, and planning support to elementary and middle schools throughout the state at no cost to the schools or their communities.

National Bike to School Day and Walk to School Days help schools initiate conversations about how increased participation in walking and biking transportation modes can:

  • Enhance health by increasing students’ physical activity
  • Improve air quality by reducing car emissions around schools
  • Make streets safer by reducing traffic congestion
  • Educate people about bicycle, pedestrian, and general traffic safety

To register a school event, please visit www.walkbiketoschool.org.  For more information, please go to
www.SCSafeRoutes.org or call the Resource Center hotline at 1.855.4SC.SRTS.

Thousands of students will celebrate the Fourth Annual South Carolina Walk to School Day (SCWTSD) in March

March, 2015

The Fourth Annual South Carolina Walk to School Day (SCWTSD) is Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

Organized by the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT) Safe Routes to School Program and its Resource Center, SC Walk to School Day is part of a broader effort by many schools and communities to help get students more active. Walking requires no special equipment, and even a ten minute brisk walk will increase physical activity and can help stimulate kids’ brains and improve school performance.

Walk to School events emphasize the importance of increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, concern for the environment, and building connections between families, schools, and the broader community.

SC Walk to School Day mirrors International Walk to School Day, a hugely popular South Carolina tradition in October when hundreds of schools participate with walk to school or walk at school events. This past October, South Carolina had an all-time record for the number of registered events in the state (377 schools) and we’ve been ranked number one in the nation with the highest percentage of schools participating for two consecutive years (1 in every 3 elementary and middle schools in the state).  

So far, Safe Routes to School has over 200 schools registered for SC Walk to School Day.

By organizing park-and-walk sites, or walk at school events, schools include students who live too far from school to walk regularly. Schools have figured out how to get students excited about waking up a bit earlier and walking to school, with local celebrities such as the Cocky from USC, The Tiger and "Tiger Cub” from Clemson and even Carolina Panthers’ Sir Purr coming out to walk with the kids and to help talk to kids about why walking is fun, healthy, and good for the environment.

SC Walk to School Day helps schools initiate conversations about how walking and biking can:

  • Enhance health by increasing the amount of physical activity
  • Improve air quality by reducing automobile emissions in the school zone
  • Make the streets safer by relieving traffic congestion

The Safe Routes to School Resource Center is a federally-funded project of SCDOT that provides education, encouragement, and planning support to schools throughout South Carolina that partner with the Resource Center.

Services and materials are provided at no cost to K-8th grade schools and their communities.

Contact the Resource Center’s School Outreach Coordinators or go to SCSafeRoutes.org for more information about events, materials, and opportunities to participate.

For additional information, please contact Rodney Oldham, SCDOT Safe Routes to School Coordinator at oldhamr@scdot.org .

South Carolina Safe Routes to School Has Successful Fall 2014 Including Most Successful IWalk Ever!

December, 2014

Fall 2014 was a big success for the South Carolina Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program and its Resource Center! International Walk to School Day was a record-breaking event, Crossing Guard Appreciation Week was introduced, and the Resource Center created three new resources that can help schools and communities enhance their SRTS programs.

Coordinated by the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program and its Resource Center, International Walk to School Day (iWalk) is a worldwide event that had more than 4,780 schools and partners registered nationwide at www.walkbiketoschool.org through October 2014.  International Walk to School Day broke records in South Carolina this year too.  Schools and community partners across the state registered 336 events at www.walkbiketoschool.org. This is a 21% increase over last year’s participation. South Carolina achieved a record rate of participation for iWalk 2014, with about one in three schools registered. Also, according to event registration information provided by schools, more than 130,000 students participated statewide. Spartanburg County had 58 schools that participated with International Walk to School Day – ranking them the county with the most events in the state!

November 17-21, 2014 was the inaugural South Carolina Crossing Guard Appreciation Week sponsored by SCDOT and the Resource Center. The first annual event included an Outstanding Crossing Guard program and materials that schools and communities across the state used to show appreciation to their crossing guards.

This fall, the Resource Center developed and introduced three new resources for schools and communities to strengthen their SRTS programs.

  • School Safety Patrol materials are available to schools. The parent information, pocket guide, and tip sheets help schools enhance their student Safety Patrols.
  • A Bicycle Rodeo Manual was created in cooperation with Safe Kids Trident, a Friend of the Resource Center in the Lowcountry, to assist organizers in coordinating on-bike safety workshops called bicycle rodeos.
  • SCDOT’s SRTS Resource Center developed a series of eight Planning Tip Sheets that schools and communities may use to develop a Safe Routes to School plan for their own community.

The Safe Routes to School Resource Center is a federally-funded project of SCDOT that provides education, encouragement, and planning support to schools throughout South Carolina that partner with the Resource Center. Services and materials are provided at no cost to K-8 schools and their communities. The program is looking forward to an exciting spring highlighted by the fifth annual South Carolina Walk and Roll to School Day on March 4, 2015, and National Bike to School Day on May 6, 2015.

Contact the Resource Center’s School Outreach Coordinators and go to SCSafeRoutes.org for more information about events, materials, and opportunities to participate. 

For more information about International Walk to School Day, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org.

Information about SC Walk to School Day is available at www.scsaferoutes.org

 

South Carolina’s Safe Routes to School Program Launches Crossing Guard Appreciation Week!

October, 2014

Columbia, SC – The South Carolina Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT) Safe Routes to School Program, and its Resource Center, is excited to announce South Carolina’s first Crossing Guard Appreciation Week, November 17-21, 2014.

Schools and communities throughout South Carolina are encouraged to use this week-long celebration to recognize crossing guards and the role that the crossing guards play in helping keep our students safe as they walk and bicycle to school. Crossing guards brave traffic and weather to assist students across busy roads and intersections. They serve as a safety role model for the children, and also play a vital role in reminding adults to drive safely in school zones.

School Outreach Coordinators from the SRTS Resource Center are available to assist with event planning during Crossing Guard Appreciation Week. Schools will be thanking their crossing guards with notes from students, recognizing them in their school communications, and organizing opportunities for students to learn from their crossing guard. Additional resources will be available on the Resource Center’s website. Schools and communities may nominate their crossing guards for recognition as an Outstanding Crossing Guard with the Resource Center. Outstanding Crossing Guards will be formally announced and recognized during SC Crossing Guard Appreciation Week.

The SC Safe Routes to School Resource Center provides materials, services, and planning and technical assistance to partnered schools throughout South Carolina to enable and encourage more children to walk and bicycle to those schools and in the surrounding communities. Programs also teach bicycle and pedestrian safety skills and promote active transportation for better health and environment. Services and materials are provided at no cost to K-8th grade schools and their communities.

Contact the Resource Center’s School Outreach Coordinators by visiting www.SCsaferoutes.org for more information.

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