What is Safe Routes to School?
Safe Routes to School is a program aimed at making walking and biking to school safer for students. Teachers and other adult volunteers accompany children walking to or from school resulting in healthier students who can get to and from school in a safe environment. It also helps reduce traffic surrounding schools, leads to better academic performance, and can reduce student absences and tardiness.
In 2018, Bike Walk Knoxville started our first Safe Routes to School program at Dogwood Elementary School. We assisted in running a Walking School Bus 5 days a week and helped with a "Morning Fun Walk" every Monday and Friday. This fall Dogwood continued their Walking School Bus, walking students to and from school Tuesday - Friday.
In April 2019, our program expanded to West Knoxville! We helped launch the Walking School Bus at Bearden Elementary with two different walking routes. These "Walking Wednesdays" are led by parent volunteers and give students the ability to be more active outside throughout the school year.
West Hills Elementary
West Hills Elementary launched in May 2019, and they continue to walk a ½ mile every Wednesday and Friday after school. Thank you to the teachers and community volunteers who support this program and help walk students!
Our program has been made possible through a grant from United Way of Greater Knoxville that allows us to provide resources to help start and run these walking school bus programs and expand in the future!
SRTS in Knox County
The Knox County Safe Routes to School Partnership does similar work with elementary schools in the area to promote safe travel to schools. Some of the schools they work with include West View Elementary, Beaumont Magnet Academy, Belle Morris Elementary, and Christenberry Elementary.
Check out this video from West View’s Walking School Bus program
Safe Routes to School is not just a great thing happening in Knox County. It actually is a national movement led by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership who provide resources and expertise to communities wanting to make walking and biking to school safer.
Would you like to be involved in our program? We have two ways you can help!
We are always looking for volunteers to walk with the kids. If you have an afternoon or morning free and want to get active and have fun walking with the students, fill out our volunteer interest form.
If you don’t have the time or ability to walk, you could consider donating to Bike Walk Knoxville so we can continue to offer this opportunity to students in Knoxville.
Want to find out more about Safe Routes to School or starting a Walking School Bus at your child's school? We'd love to help! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.