Safe Routes Scoop
Safe Routes Scoop News Briefs

were asked to write an “Adventures in Walking to School” story. Students determine the plot, setting, and characters to help them write a walking or biking-to-school story. Students can then use the newspaper to choose locations and people their characters saw along the way. The exercise demonstrates how walking and biking to school can be fun. Also included in each activity is the “Safety Zone”, where kids learn important safety tips, such as “always tell an adult where you are going” and “never ride your bike against the flow of traffic.” In the “Calculator Corner”, students complete walking- and biking-related math tasks, such as how much time it takes to walk a mile and how to calculate their carbon footprint.

 

Content for the series was developed in partnership with the YMCA of Garfield, F.U.N. (Fitness Unity Nutrition) in Garfield, Bike New York, the Partnership for Community Health, Inc., and the NJ Department of Transportation. To download the entire eight-part series of curriculum-based activities, visit:

http://www.therecordnie.com/

page.php?page=499

 

WalkSafe in Newark

Efforts are underway in Newark to address the high incidence of children’s fatalities in car accidents by teaching Newark’s children how to be safe while walking. From 2000-2005, 12 Newark children were killed in car accidents and many more were injured and admitted into Newark’s UMDNJ University Hospital. To address the problem, Dr. David Livingston, the hospital’s chief of trauma, began working with several organizations interested in improving pedestrian safety in Newark to introduce the WalkSafe program.

 

WalkSafe is a school-based pedestrian injury prevention program designed to reduce the number of children hit by motor

vehicles. Modeled on the University of

Miami’s WalkSafe program, the program has three goals: to implement educational intervention, to make appropriate engineering modifications and to recommend ways to improve enforcement of existing safety regulations.

 

A key organizer for Newark’s WalkSafe program, Sharon Clancy, with UMDNJ’s Divisions of Trauma and Emergency Medicine, said the program has made “wonderful” progress. Success has been due in part to the help provided by the Newark School District and Newark Charter Schools. Originally an unfunded pilot program, Newark's WalkSafe program has recently received grants from the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety

(http://www.state.nj.us/lps/hts/

index.html), the American Trauma

Society (http://www.amtrauma.org/) and State Farm Insurance (http://

www.statefarm.com/). With these funds, program coordinators have hired a part-time educator to teach WalkSafe’s three-day lesson plan. A curriculum development team from the Newark New Community Corporation (http://www.newcommunity

.org/main.htm) helped to modify the Miami lesson plans to meet the Newark School District’s needs.

 

During the first day of the program, classroom teachers introduce street safety to their students. The following day, children attend an assembly where each child demonstrates skills learned in the

classroom. Children are tested on their knowledge on the third day. The WalkSafe program coordinator returns three months later, testing the children for their understanding and retention. So far, nearly 1,000 Newark students aged 5-12 have participated in the program; the majority live in the city’s Central Ward which has been the most affected by traffic injury. The WalkSafe program coordinator is taking steps to evaluate theprogram’s effectiveness, by tracking any
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