Safe Routes to School in WyCo Shows Growth

Safe Routes to SchoolThe Safe Routes to School program had a great year in 2016! Safe Routes to School in Wyandotte County is a collaborative partnership between the Unified Government Public Works and Health Departments, Healthy Communities Wyandotte, BikeWalkKC, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, and Turner School District. Our Mission is to encourage more students to walk and bike to school. We hope to increase the practice of walking and bicycling to school by creating safer routes to schools within Wyandotte County and using available funding to help improve the infrastructure (like sidewalks) around school neighborhoods.

Our Vision is a Wyandotte County where kids outlive their parents, where childhood disease due to inactivity is reduced, and where neighborhoods are engaged in creating a safe, healthy and active environment.

Our Goal is to partner with each school in the USD 500 and 202 school districts to organize a weekly or daily walking school bus program. This will encourage walking and biking as a means of transportation to and from school and ultimately create a healthier generation of youth.

We are proud of what we've done the past year! In 2016, the Safe Routes Program:

  • Met with and garnered the support of USD 500 and USD 202 district administrations
  • Set record high participation for International Walk to School Day on October 5th, 2016
    • Seven schools: Grant, Francis Willard, Frank Rushton, Hazel Grove, W.A. White, Welborn
    • Over 500 students from Wyandotte County celebrated
  • Engaged six new schools in the program: Stony Point North, Caruthers, New Chelsea, Welborn, Northwest Middle and Parker
  • Helped six schools set up or maintain walking programs: Douglass, Frank Rushton, Hazel Grove, Welborn, Midland Trail, and Grant
  • Officially partnered as an initiative with Healthy Communities Wyandotte to further leverage resources and expand programming
  • Built sidewalks at Hazel Grove, Frank Rushton, and Midland Trail
  • Saw over 500 students walking to school through traffic observations and walking programs

As we look forward to 2017, we hope to:

  • Maintain Walking School Bus programs at current schools
  • Expand programming and safety education to new schools
  • Continue leveraging community partnerships and support
  • Build and improve infrastructure at school sites

Curious about becoming involved? For more information about the Safe Routes to School program, please contact Maggie Priesmeyer, Program Coordinator, by email or phone at (816) 205-7056 ext. 7