Safe Routes to Schools Received National Health Award
National Public Health Week Features Marin Program
The Marin County Safe Routes to Schools program has received an award from the National Public Health Association and will be featured nationally during National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 3-9, 2006 .
Marin Safe Routes to Schools, a program of the Transportation Authority of Marin, is one of eight national programs to receive an Honorable Mention for its work in promoting walking and biking to school through improving the physical environment, education in the classroom, encouraging walking and biking through contests and events and enforcement of traffic safety.
This year’s theme of NPHW is “Designing Healthy Communities: Raising Healthy Kids.” The goal is to showcase proven solutions that communities can implement to change the built environment and improve kids’ health.
Safe Routes to Schools has also been chosen by Marin County Department of Health and Human Services as one of eight Public Health Heroes to be honored for its efforts to create a healthier environment for children in Marin County. There will be a celebration on Tuesday, April 4 th from 3:30 to 5:30 pm at St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 10 Bayview Dr. San Rafael.
The built environment has an enormous impact on children’s health. Childhood obesity levels continue to rise because communities lack the sidewalks, bike paths and playgrounds necessary for children to walk to school and play safely. The heavy reliance on cars has contributed to increased child pedestrian fatalities and higher rates of childhood asthma due to air pollution. In underserved communities, children often live in substandard housing and lack access to primary health care providers and grocery stores offering nutritious fresh foods.
Marin’s Safe Routes to Schools program is nationally recognized for its huge success in shifting children from cars to feet. For the past five and half years, it has assisted communities in developing improvement plans and acquiring funding to create sidewalks, safe crossings, pathways and traffic calming at its participating schools.
For more information call (415) 488-4101 or go to www.tam.ca.gov
Safe Routes to Schools is funded by revenues of Measure A, Marin County ’s transportation sales tax.