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The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) has a grant from the Federal Safe Routes to School program to increase the number of students who safely walk and bike to school.

WHY SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL?
  • Healthier children. In 1969, 40% of students walked or bike to school. By 2001 only 13% of children walked or biked to school. As a result, kids today are less active, less independent, and less healthy. Regular physical activity helps kids build strong bodies and minds.

  • Better academic performance. Peer-reviewed studies suggest that regular physical activity boosts academic achievement.

  • Cleaner Environment and Less Traffic Congestion. As much as 20 to 30% of morning traffic can be generated by parents driving their children to schools.


PROJECT GOALS
  • Provide a central clearinghouse with activities and materials to promote walking and biking for parents, teachers and administrators in MMSD. The National Center for Safe Routes to School is an excellent resource.

  • Work with other MMSD staff, City of Madison staff, and the Sustainable Schools Initiative to develop policies that encourage students to walk and bike.

  • Work with Phy Ed teachers and teachers across disciplines to incorporate walking and biking into lesson plans. The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin has developed some sample curriculums for teaching walking and biking for a range of ages.

  • Identify safe walking and biking routes around elementary and middle schools and develop action plans for increasing the number of kids walking and biking to those schools. This would build on the excellent work that the Madison School Traffic Safety Committee does to help schools improve the traffic safety in the area immediately around the school during student drop-off and pick-up. Also, many elementary schools have School Safety Patrols made up of 4th and 5th grade students to help prevent accidents as kids travel to and from school.

  • Help with encouragement activites for walking and biking to schools in Madison. Safe Communities and Madison Safe Kids have coordinated annual walk to school weeks in October at many schools.

  • Install bike racks at some schools.

  • Survey students and parents annually to determine whether the Safe Routes to School program is influencing walking and biking rates.


Questions?

Please visit Madison Metropolitan School District: Safe Routes to School, or contact Sonia Dubielzig, sdubielzig@madison.k12.wi.us, with questions about MMSD's Safe Routes to Schools program.