Safe Routes to School – active living for kids


Safe Routes to School – active living for kids


Walbridge Elementary students mark the start of their walk on a neighborhood map

Encouraging kids to get out of the family car and join their friends on a walk to school is one of the goals of Trailnet’s Safe Routes to School Program. Trailnet organized a series of Walk to School Days in the Fall, engaging nearly 2,000 children at a number of elementary schools throughout the area.

At Froebel Literacy Academy, Trailnet staff presented “Steps in the Right Direction” to the school’s Leadership Development students. This five-week program focuses on the benefits of active transportation, provides guidance on safe pedestrian behavior, and encourages the kids to advocate for a safer walking environment in their neighborhood. Student activities included a “walk about” the school to identify potential hazards to pedestrians, and Jeopardy and Bingo games to learn about pedestrian safety.


Froebel students display their pedestrian safety posters

Students in the program created posters designed to encourage their classmates to walk more and to highlight wise pedestrian decisions. As the student leaders commented, hanging the posters around the school will remind kids that “walking is good for you,” to “wear bright colors at night,” and “stop jaywalking!”

Trailnet thanks Mr. Von Smith, Froebel’s Family and Community Specialist, for his enthusiastic cooperation and tireless efforts on behalf of his students. Thanks also to school staff and parent volunteers who helped to organize Walk to School Days at participating schools. Their dedication to active living (and their willingness to provide hot coffee) inspires other families to “walk the walk.”

In 2015 we look forward to continuing our partnership with Froebel’s Leadership Academy and with the many schools with whom we have enjoyed years of collaboration. We are excited about promoting healthy, active living at two additional St. Louis Public Schools through the development of walking school bus programs, and through collaboration with other Family and Community Specialists. Together with these dedicated staff and parents, we hope to put more little boots on the ground!

Funding for the Safe Routes to School Program is provided by