Waynesboro to launch Safe Routes to School project

safe routes to schoolThe City of Waynesboro and Central Shenandoah Valley Office on Youth, in partnership with Waynesboro Public Schools, has been awarded a Safe Routes to School grant through the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The grant will cover the cost to create a new part-time Safe Routes to School coordinator and also purchase bicycles and educational materials.

The city’s four elementary schools – Berkeley Glenn, Wenonah, Westwood Hills and William Perry – and Kate Collins Middle School will receive additional $1,000 mini-grants to support the program.

“The Safe Routes to School Grant will enable the Office on Youth and Waynesboro Schools to foster opportunities for movement for our youth, increase community understanding of safe routes in our community, and teach our students about bicycle and pedestrian safety,” said Ryan Barber, the executive director of student services at Waynesboro Public Schools.

The Safe Routes to School program aims to make it safer for students to walk and bike to school and encourage more walking and biking where safety is not a barrier.

The program also helps communities facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution near schools.

“While our community has sponsored Walk to School Week for many years, the grant will enable the Office on Youth and Waynesboro Schools to expand our health and wellness focus throughout the entire school year. My hope is that walking and biking will be viewed as viable options on a daily basis throughout our community,” Barber said.

About Safe Routes to School

VDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program assists interested localities and schools in the development of plans, activities, and infrastructure improvements to make bicycling and walking to school a safe and appealing transportation option for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

For more information, visit www.virginiadot.org/saferoutes.

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