Getting to and from school can be tough. There tends to be so much going on, and so many people around, that dropping off or picking up your child can feel like utter chaos. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
The Denver Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI) has been working tirelessly to develop solutions that help schools solve the insanity of pick-up and drop-off. The Denver Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program was specifically developed as a holistic approach to elevate safety and incorporate smart solutions in the school transportation process.
Denver's SRTS program employs a set of strategies known as the six “Es” — Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, Evaluation and Equity, in order to promote walking, biking, and rolling, as well as overall transportation safety for kids and adults. Engineering solutions can manage traffic patterns, and enforcement solutions can respond to and influence motorist behavior. Education and encouragement solutions can influence students, school communities and school staff to behave safer, be more active while transporting safely to and from school and to envision safer behaviors and active transportation opportunities that have safety in mind.
In order to successfully educate and encourage safe and active transportation to and from school for Denver communities, the SRTS program created a series of four education modules. In 2021, we trained six DPS school teacher SRTS Champions from 3 elementary schools to pilot these modules through the Advancing a Culture of Active Transportation in Schools (ACATS) grant program, funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation. The modules cover foundational safety training topics in transportation-related child safety.
This extremely helpful information was divided into four easy-to-use modules and are available for free to educators, families, and/or caregivers. The target age range for the youth-facing modules are elementary K-5 and include:
Basic Helmet Fit & Bike Check to increase safety and success while for beginner bike riders,
Child Passenger Safety while riding in a car, whether it be in a car seat, a booster seat, or with a seatbelt,
Safe Walking, Rolling, and Biking tips for route planning & building confidence getting around on sidewalks and streets, and
Safe Drop-Off tips, ideas, and tools to help school drop-off go safely and smoothly.
Each of these great modules includes a kid-friendly educational video with subtitles in English and Spanish, as well as plenty of valuable resources like lesson-plans and take-home handouts for students, caregivers, and teachers alike. They are available by request here after answering a few short questions that can help us understanding the usage and effectiveness of these modules.
With proper information and cooperation from the school community, getting to and from school can now be a breeze!