Mini grants available to help kickstart biking and walking to school

Photo from SDOT

Photo from SDOT

Are you a student, parent or teacher who wishes it were safer, easier or more inviting to walk or bike to your Seattle public or private school? Well, SDOT wants to give you some cash to help make that happen.

The opportunities are pretty wide-ranging. Let your imagination run wild. Details from SDOT:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is accepting applications for mini-grants of up to $1,000 to fund projects that educate students about pedestrian and bicycle safety, and encourage walking and biking to school. Private and public schools, PTAs and other school-related nonprofit groups may apply. The activities must support the overall goal of educating about safety and encouraging more walking and bicycling to school.

If you’re wondering what qualifies for funding, past examples may inspire you. Mini-grants have helped schools start student safety patrols, attentive-driving programs, anti-idling campaigns, as well as bike safety education programs. Last year, Loyal Heights Elementary created an eight-week urban cycling club to teach fourth and fifth grade students bike safety and practice bicycling skills on neighborhood streets. McDonald Elementary School purchased safety supplies, including safety vests and flags, for their walking school buses. Mercer Middle School brought an “Undriver Licensing Station” to school for students who choose to walk and bike to school.

In previous years, schools have used their mini-grants to purchase safety patrol equipment and start a new student safety patrol program; to make traffic circulation changes on school property that increased safety for students walking and biking to school; and to start a peer-education bicycle safety program.

Mini-grant funds can even support creative classroom activities that explore the benefits of walking and biking to school. Ballard High School students used a mini- grant to produce a documentary film about the Seattle Bicycle Music Festival.

If you have an idea for a safety education program, please visit our website www.cityofseattle.net/transportation/ped_srts_grant.htm for more information on how to apply for a Mini Grant, In addition to the application, a letter of support from the school principal must be e-mailed or mailed by the application due date. For questions, contact Ashley Harris at ashley.harris@seattle.gov. Completed applications are due by the close of business October 25, 2013 and recipients will be announced by December 6, 2013.

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One Response to Mini grants available to help kickstart biking and walking to school

  1. Ginger Warren says:

    I teach kindergarten in a Seattle School. We are nestled in a neighborhood in North Seattle where many residents can walk or ride to school but opt for their cars instead. Many of the roads around our school have very little sidewalk coverage and commuting cars often can overlook pedestrians and/or bikes. Therefor very few, if any, students ride their bikes to school. So far, even if kids are able to ride to school, they have to lock their bikes up very far back in the school in a rickety old bike rack. I ride my bike to school sometimes from Bothell and I have to leave my bike in the undercover storage area inside the building.
    Our main concern is safety and bike awareness. Two weeks ago one of our 4th graders was riding their bike to school and was hit by a car when the student was weaving in the road to avoid a puddle on the side. He was not wearing a helmet. Since this incident, no one is riding their bike to school.

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