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. At the start of the school year, Slow Down lawn signs, an additional speed feedback sign, school zone speed enforcement, and a new school entry design at ISD 166 were all at work reminding our community that school has started and drive carefully to keep students safe. This coming Wednesday (October 21st) will be the second Walk 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 October event will be on Wednesday, October 21st, accompanied by local agents from U.S. Border Patrol. “The Agents from the U.S. Border Patrol Station in Grand Marais are committed to the safety and security of the children in this community. We are proud to be a partner with the Cook County Safe Routes to School Program. The roadways to and from school should always be a ‘safe route’ for children and we hope by taking part in this event it will remind drivers to slow down and be aware of children biking and/or walking to school,” said Matthew Curran, Patrol Agent in Charge, U.S. Border Patrol. 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. *Please note that the Safe Routes to School group, Minnesota Department of Health, and Statewide Health Improvement Program 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 3rd grade 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!”).
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.
Originally published in the Cook County News-Herald.