Froebel Literacy Academy Spring Field Day
A rainy day did not dampen students’ enthusiasm for the May 20 Field Day at Froebel Literacy Academy in the Dutchtown neighborhood. Children ranging from pre-school through fifth grade participated in a variety of activities coordinated by school staff and community partners, including Trailnet.
Students and teachers enjoyed smoothies produced by Trailnet’s pedal-powered “bike blender.” One after another the kids lined up, taking turns spinning their legs to swirl the fresh fruit and juices. Even those with legs too short to reach the pedals eagerly mounted the bicycle while Trailnet staff helped out by manually turning the cranks.
Waves of children rotated through a circuit of activities in the building, including basketball in the gym and scooter races in the hallways. Trailnet offered a version of musical chairs that involved student leaders parading through traffic cones and leading buddies through a “crosswalk” set up in the cafeteria. Each student received a poem stressing the importance of “using your head before your feet” while walking in the neighborhood. The poems were entered into raffles for sunglasses, flashing safety lights, and “footie” bracelets.
Trailnet has partnered with Froebel for the past two years, organizing a variety of activities aimed at improving pedestrian safety around the school. These activities have included Walk to School Days, an after school “Walk Ambassadors” program for Froebel’s Leadership students, and surveys soliciting parent input about transportation in the neighborhood.
Trailnet also recently completed a traffic study of the area surrounding the school in order to outline recommendations for infrastructure and behavioral changes that will improve pedestrian safety. One issue cited by the traffic study was the lack of a crosswalk and stop sign at the school’s front entrance where many parents drop off and pick up their children.
Before leaving, Trailnet presented the school with a portable stop sign, safety cones, reflective vests and hand-held stop signs. This equipment will be used to improve safety at the drop-off area and by crossing guards at nearby intersections. Trailnet thanks Mr. Von Smith, Froebel’s Family and Community Specialist, and Anne Thomas, Academic Instructional Coach, for an ongoing partnership that has been highly rewarding and lots of fun. We also thank the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Dana Brown Charitable Trust, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, the Saigh Foundation and Wells Fargo Advisors for funding our work in Dutchtown.