SBCUSD Promotes Safe Routes to School with Kickoff Event

SBCUSD Promotes Safe Routes to School with Kickoff Event
Posted on 03/15/2022
Safe Routes to School logo

The San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) is hosting a Walk To School Day/Safe Routes to School Kickoff event on Thursday, March 17 at Hillside Elementary Demonstration School.

The City of San Bernardino, which was awarded this most recent Safe Routes to School grant, has partnered with SBCUSD to create safer routes to and from school for the following campuses:

  • Anton Elementary School
  • Pacific High School
  • Hillside Elementary School
  • Holcomb Elementary School
  • Newmark Elementary School
  • North Park Elementary School
  • Shandin Hills Middle School
  • Cajon High School

The Safe Routes to School grant promotes three Es related to safe travel to and from school—Engineering, Education, and Engagement.

Engineering refers to the physical improvements made along students’ routes to school. This includes improvements to sidewalks, gutters, and crosswalks so students have a clear, safe path to walk or roll to school. It might also include improved street lighting in case students are heading to school early in the morning or returning home late after club meetings or sporting events.

Education is about making students and families aware of safer routes to school, the importance of following traffic rules, and the many benefits of walking or rolling to school instead of driving. Walking or rolling (i.e. using a wheelchair or bicycle) to school provides students with the following benefits that can last throughout the school day and beyond:

  • Increased metabolism, which can help maintain or lower weight/BMI
  • Reduced stress during the school day
  • Improved lung capacity, which could benefit children with asthma
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Improved emotional bonds with peers/siblings (when walking/rolling with other students)
  • Improved attention/alertness, which can last up to four hours after walking/rolling

Engagement is about involving community members in creating safe routes to school by reminding them to be mindful of pedestrians and bicyclists, follow traffic safety laws, especially speed limits, and keep their sidewalks clear of debris.

The kickoff event for the education and engagement portions of this round of grant funding begins at 8 a.m. on March 17 in front of Hillside Elementary, 4975 N. Mayfield Avenue, San Bernardino. Participants are welcome to gather together at Hillside or join any of the designated routes for the Walk to School Day portion of the event. At about 8:45 a.m., the official kickoff press conference will be held in front of Hillside.

Over the next several months, SBCUSD staff will take the routes many students currently walk or roll to school to identify any issues or conditions that can be improved to make it safer and more appealing for more students and families to want to skip the car and opt for a healthier way to get to school.

“Our goal is to empower students and families by promoting health, wellness and safe paths to school,” said Marlene Bicondova, director of Positive Youth Development. “By walking the routes our students take, we can catalog the obstacles they face, such as broken sidewalks or unsafe intersections. Once we know, we can work to do something about it.”

For more information about the Safe Routes to School grant, please contact Kristin Haukom, Senior Planning Associate with Alta Planning + Design, at [email protected].


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