Students are returning for another school year and many will be getting there on foot or bike. The Safe Routes to School Committee works year-round to make it safer and easier for children to walk and bike to and from school. Studies have found that physical activity, such as walking or biking to school, allows students to concentrate better during the school day. And while many students in our county do not live in Grand Marais, many walk or bike to an after-school destination in Grand Marais. This past week, Slow Down lawn signs, school zone speed enforcement, and adult crossing guards were all at work reminding our community that school has started and drive carefully to keep students safe. Wednesday, September 20th will be the first Walk/Bike to School Day, with three routes of Walking School Buses in Grand Marais.
Walking School Buses are groups of students and adult volunteers walking to school together. The first monthly event will be on Thursday, September 21st (changed due to weather), accompanied by community members and officers from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Each Walking School Bus stops at ISD 166 and GES on time for school to begin. If your student normally gets a ride to school, come in a little early and walk or bike with the Walking School Bus from one of the starting locations: the Cook County Courthouse (7:30 am departure), Birchwood Apartments (7:40 am departure), or County Road 7 and 7th Ave. East (7:40 am departure). Students are welcome to join along the route or meet at the starting location (see map for routes).
Will your student be walking or rolling to/from school this year? When not participating in a Walking School Bus, it is recommended that you pick a route with your child and test is out together. Once a student and parent/guardian set a route, it is best that the student follows it consistently so that an adult knows where the student is traveling. This Safe Routes to School map may be helpful in identifying a good route. *Please note that the Safe Routes to School group, Minnesota Department of Health, and Statewide Health Improvement Partnership work together to encourage walking and bicycling to school, but do not ensure safety or assume liability for anyone’s commute to or from school.
Cook County Safe Routes to School (SRTS) strives to improve the health of kids and our community by making walking and bicycling to school safer, easier, and more enjoyable. In addition to coordinating Walking School Bus days in the fall and spring, SRTS also offers the annual bike rodeo in the spring, in-school bike education, and works to create safer routes with improved pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure, crossing guard equipment, and community signage (“Slow Down & Smile! Kids on the Move!”). The October Walking School Buses will be on Wednesday, October 4th.
For more information about Safe Routes to School, to volunteer, or for a Slow Down lawn sign, contact SRTS Coordinator, Maren Webb, at 218-387-2330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.