Safe routes to school Oct. 3
By: Forrest Johnson, SHIP coordinator, Lake County , Lake County News Chronicle
Parents, start your student’s day off on an active note on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The Statewide Health Improvement Plan in Lake County is hosting the Safe Routes to School Day walk/bike and we’ll provide the volunteers (parents, teachers, grandparents, adults, seniors and high school mentors) to accompany kids from their neighborhoods to school.
We’re hoping it will be the start of a long term sustainable effort to get kids more active in their day by walking and biking to school and reverse the trend that has seen a big drop in the number of kids who get to school under their own power.
Right now we have a commitment from some of the high school athletes to help out along the walking routes. We also will have members of the high school band providing tunes as students arrive. It should be a fun morning.
We realize that some kids may live in the country or are just too far away to get to school on time if they walk or bike. We’ll be working on ways to include all the students in future Safe Routes day events. We are thinking of drop-off points for kids where they can join “walking school buses” on their way to the classroom.
We will be providing maps of the walking routes and info about where volunteers will be posted so parents will feel safe in letting their kids head off into the morning toward school. Hopefully parents will join in and walk with their kids as well. We will make sure that there are crossing guards at points along Seventh Ave. and the “walking school buses” will be carefully monitored.
Two Harbors recently received a MnDOT Safe Routes to School grant that will be used to develop a plan to make the environment safe for students already walking or biking to school, and to address the issues and barriers for parents whose kids are not routinely, if ever, walking or biking to school.
We’ll still need volunteers! We envision our volunteers who live along the streets and avenues to act as “walking mentors” on the day of the event. If you’d like to volunteer Oct. 3 please contact Forrest Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 830-0166 for more information.