Press releases

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.

South Carolina Achieves highest participation rate in the Nation for International Walk to School Day 2013!

July, 2014

The National Center for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) published its 2013 IWalk Report in July 2014, and South Carolina was ranked first in the nation in rate of participation for International Walk to School Day (IWalk) for the second year in a row. One in four South Carolina schools registered for IWalk at www.walkbiketoschool.org and held events during October 2013.

IWalk 2014 is officially on October 8th,  and the Resource Center is encouraging even more schools to participate and break the state’s record of 277 events.

South Carolina Safe Routes to School Resource Center Acknowledges New Outstanding Community Friends

July, 2014

The South Carolina Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Resource Center is acknowledging three new Outstanding Community Friends this summer.

Safe Kids Sumter County hosts events to provide safety education on injury prevention to families of Sumter County. Kids Fest is one such event and brings in over 1,500 students from both public and private elementary schools. Students walk though fifteen interactive safety stations. In the past, the Resource Center facilitated the "Safety Town" station, which demonstrated the importance of pedestrian safety skills. Students are provided with educational handouts on each of the stations to share with their families.

The Children's Museum (TCM) of the Upstate has an onsite Trike Track and uses the tricycles to promote bicycle safety. TCM also works with nearby schools to plan walking field trips to visit the museum. Recently, TCM partnered with the Resource Center to host a "Walk Shop" for its YES! program, a leadership and learning program for middle school students. Students received training on common pedestrian engineering treatments and then conducted a mock Walkability Assessment around the museum grounds.

The North Charleston Police Bike Team is a key partner in the Lowcountry and has partnered to facilitate Bike Rodeos, safety events, and health and wellness days throughout the area. When the team comes out to a Bike Rodeo, they work with the children on fitting helmets, bicycle preparation, biking skills and the overall importance of safety. They are an invaluable organization serving and protecting the community and providing important bicycle safety education to thousands of students.

The support and dedication from Safe Kids Sumter County, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate and the North Charleston Police Bike Team has had a positive effect on SRTS Partner Schools and the SRTS program as a whole. To date, the Resource Center has 328 School Partners enrolled in the SRTS program across the state, and 119 Community Friends who’ve formally endorsed the program.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Resource Center provides education, encouragement and planning support to schools throughout SC that partner with the Resource Center. Services and materials are provided at no cost to K-8 schools and their communities.  For additional information, please visit these web sites:

SC Safe Routes to School Resource Center www.scsaferoutes.org

SC Department of Transportation www.scdot.org/getting/safeRoutes.aspx

Another Successful South Carolina (SC) Walk to School Day

April, 2014

Organized by the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT) Safe Routes to School 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 beat its previous all-time record for registered events in the state.  With 278 schools registered, South Carolina ranked number 1 in the nation (for the second year in a row) with the highest number of schools participating.  The Resource Center had over 180 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 coming out to help talk to kids about why walking is fun, healthy, and good for the environment. At Pendleton Elementary School and Riverside Middle School, the Clemson Tiger and some Clemson football players walked with the students on March 5th.

Landon Cohen, a National Football League defensive lineman from the Chicago Bears and a Spartanburg native, ran with students at Mary H. Wright Elementary School on the schools track as part of their SC Walk to School Day event.

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-8 schools and their communities.

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

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

March, 2014

The Third Annual South Carolina Walk to School Day (SCWTSD) is Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

Organized by the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT) Safe Routes to School 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. With 277 schools registered in October, South Carolina ranked number one in the nation withthe highest percentage of schools participating for the second year in a row (1 in every 4 elementary and middle schools in the state).  So far, the Resource Center has over 150 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 Carolina Panthers’ Sir Purr coming out 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-8 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 .

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