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2019 Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities Program

The Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program is now accepting applications for awards for eleven grantee communities in 2019. The Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program provides tailored technical assistance for eleven communities to develop Safe Routes to Parks action plans and awards $12,500 to each community to begin implementation of those plans.

From February through September 2019, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership will provide training, individualized consultation and technical assistance, peer community learning exchanges, an in-person workshop in their community, and grants of $12,500 each to develop and begin to implement Safe Routes to Parks action plans. At the end of the grant period, awardees will have a customized action plan to improve safe, equitable local park access that includes ideas for how to fund and sustain their efforts and will have implemented at least one action from the plan.

Find more information about the program and instructions on how to apply.

Brookshire Students Learn Bike Safety

Orange County Public Schools, Florida Safe Routes to School, the Winter Park Health Foundation and the Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program are working together to lower cyclist injury and death rates by teaching school-aged children bike safety on actual bikes.

FSRS’ purchase of two trailers containing 27 age-appropriate bicycles provides students the opportunity to learn safety, as well as hands-on knowledge of how to properly secure a helmet and ride a bike.

In the hands-on training, the students learn to get off the bike to look around obstacles, like fences or bushes, to watch the ground ahead for potential hazards and to ride single file in the bike lane.

“Having a trailer that we share is a great benefit because it allows us to give the students plenty of practice with their skills and it gives students an opportunity to apply skills and safety rules that we teach, making the whole lesson more personal and meaningful to the students,” said Randi Topps, Brookshire Elementary School physical education teacher.

Malachi Fleming, a fourth-grader at Brookshire, enjoyed his class’ time with the bikes and said he was excited to almost feel confident enough to ride without training wheels.

“Each year I have from 10 to 20 percent of students who do not know how to ride a bike by the time they attend the class (third through fifth grades). Students are very proud of themselves when they finally learn,” Topps said. “In addition to physical fitness and learning to ride a bicycle, we have noticed an increase in the number of students wearing their bicycle helmets.”

A Winter Park Health Foundation grant provided bike helmets, signage, locks and supplies; and Lyndy Moore, a FTBSEP regional trainer, who is best known as “the Bike Lady,” helped OCPS secure the trailers and equipment as well as trained the PE teachers.

After being trained, the PE teacher can request the trailer to his/her campus. Trailers travel from school to school and typically stay two weeks per school.

“Riding a bike is an important skill to give people independence and provide an enjoyable form of physical activity.  Plus, the lessons of bicycle safety are a lead-up to driver safety, as many of the concepts and rules are the same,” Topps said.

Funding Available for School Bicycle Racks

Background

Florida Safe Routes to School Program Management provides equipment and other resources to help establish, maintain or enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety education programs.  While Florida Safe Routes to School Program Management is committed to providing educational resources necessary (e.g., pedestrian and bicycle safety education lessons) to teach the safety education program, they are equally committed to providing the funds necessary to implement and sustain programs throughout the state.

Purpose

 The purpose of the bicycle rack program is for Safe Routes to School Program Management to provide bicycle racks to Florida schools. This will be accomplished by a Florida school and/or its partner reviewing available bicycle racks and providing a request bicycle racks to Safe Routes to School Program Management for review.  Once approved, Safe Routes to School Program Management will purchase the bicycle racks directly and have them shipped to the address specified.

For more information, contact:
Florida Safe Routes to School Program Management, University of Florida
Dan Connaughton, Program Director
300 Florida Gym, Stadium Road Gainesville, FL 32611
352-294-1685
352-392-7588
SRTS@hhp.ufl.edu