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August Means It’s Back to School Time

As we move toward the end of August, many schools will be heading back into session, and we need your help as the new school year begins. We’ve spent the summer educating communities, elected officials, and school administrators on the benefits of Safe Routes to School, and now we need you to join us! 

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Safe Routes to School helps build or improve bike paths, walkways, and streets to make sure they are safe from traffic dangers, so kids can walk and bike to school. We know that increasing the number of kids who can easily and safely walk or bike to school helps them develop healthy habits that continue throughout a lifetime. With more kids walking and biking, and more areas and paths to use, we see more families walking and biking, leading to healthier, stronger communities.

If you are a parent sending kids back to school, we encourage you to walk or bike with them to see what improvements might be helpful to making a more walkable path, and tell your school. As a driver, if you are aware of dangers when you see bicyclists trying to navigate roads, sidewalks, or bike paths, we need you to reach out to your elected officials. Thanks to the good work of many volunteers, and the support of Voices for Healthy Kids, we have additional funding opportunities to improve our communities, but we need to act now! The Idaho Transportation Department will soon be accepting applications for Safe Routes to School, which provides grant funding for projects like installing a signaled crosswalk near a school, or building a sidewalk to connect a neighborhood to the schoolyard.  

Your help in communicating with your city council members, school board members, and other officials will help support our efforts to keep kids active and healthy all year long, which also helps improve academic performance and decreases discipline issues. And we know the benefits of Safe Routes to School go far beyond just the students. With more opportunities to access their communities, those who are aging are able to stay in their homes longer, and those with disabilities have easier access to be involved in their community. There are so many benefits to Safe Routes, which is why we need your help! If you would like to be involved in Safe Routes to School efforts in your community, please contact Erin Bennett at erin.bennett@heart.org to learn more and take action!

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