BATON ROUGE, La (LSU)– The LSU College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology will be implementing the Safe Routes to School program at Polk and Buchanan elementary schools in Baton Rouge this fall semester.
The project is funded by a $100,000 grant provided to by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. Professor Melinda Solmon and assistant professors Lisa Johnson and Birgitta Baker received the grant award.
The elementary schools will participate in educational sessions about bicycle and pedestrian safety, along with a walking competition to increase the number and frequency of students who bicycle or walk to school. Principal Cheryl Matthews and physical education teacher Sandra Fauver are spearheading the efforts at Polk Elementary School. Principal Patrice Hudson and physical education teacher Kentrell Plain are leading the program at Buchanan Elementary School. Sessions will be conducted in partnership with LSU teacher education students and East Baton Rouge Parish Bike Police.
Through the grant, LSU is able to support the students’ efforts by providing the schools with gifts of pedometers, water bottles, T-shirts and gym bags as incentives.
The program will end with a National Walk to School Day event on Oct. 6. The Walk to School Day celebration will take place at Buchanan Elementary from 1-2:30 p.m. and the Polk Elementary celebration will take place from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Students, teachers, and LSU faculty and staff will participate in the National Walk to School Day celebrations.