Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt
Article by Theresa Roach

Durant Tuuri Mott Elementary School’s Safe Routes to School team, with the help of the Crim Fitness Foundation, will host a walking audit of routes students use to walk and bike to school 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 1 in the Family Resource Center at the school, 1518 University. Safe Routes to School is a national and state program designed to increase walking and biking to school along safe routes. The Crim Fitness Foundation and Durant Tuuri Mott Elementary School are working together to bring Safe Routes to DTM. The walking audit is one of the most important steps in creating a successful Safe Routes to School program.

Community members and parents are encouraged to participate in the Durant Tuuri Mott Walking Audit. Walkers will help identify the safest routes for children to walk and bike to school. Participants are asked to sign up by contacting Active Living Program Associate Theresa Roach at the Crim Fitness Foundation at 810-235-7894 and to meet at 9 a.m. in the Family Resource Center behind the school, 1518 University. The event will include instructions on how to use a simple checklist, walking the designated route and developing recommendations to increase safe walking and biking to school. The walking portion of the audit will take about 50 minutes.

Findings of the walking audit will be used to create a Safe Routes to School action plan to increase safety on routes students walk or bike. A benefit to students from Safe Routes to School is the regular physical activity they receive from walking or biking daily to and from school. A recent national survey found that while 70 percent of parents walked or bicycled to school as children, only 18 percent of their children walk or bike to school today. Three out of five children aged 9 to 13 don’t get any physical activity outside of school physical education. The Centers for Disease Control predicts that one third of children born since 2000 will become diabetic unless Americans start eating less and exercising more.

For more information on Safe Routes to School at DTM, contact Theresa Roach at 810-235-7894.

© Theresa Roach, 2011