The month of May marked the fourth year of Safe Routes to School (SR2S) education and encouragement events in Franklin County. This year, Davis, St. Joseph’s, and Flanders Elementary Schools in Malone as well as Petrova Elementary in Saranac Lake participated in a month-long Walk and Bike to School Challenge. Students who participated were entered in raffles for prizes such as bike lights, water bottles and bike bells to aid their commute to school. Petrova hosted a weekly walking school bus every Wednesday in May that departed from the center of downtown and made its way up LaPan Highway to the school. Despite the absence of two grade levels at the school, the school saw 30-40 participants in the event each week. St. Joseph’s also led a school-wide walk on a sunny Friday morning with SRTS mascot Walker the SR2S Chicken.
The Heart Network has been a member of a multi-organization partnership that has coordinated and supported these events with funding from a SRTS grant awarded to Franklin County. While that grant has expired, we are pleased to announce that the Heart Network has a new grant that will allow us to continue to support SRTS education and encouragement initiatives in Franklin County schools. The Charles R. Wood Foundation has awarded funding for bike helmets, education materials and props that will be used for demonstrations and bike safety practice. Education efforts will target students in third and fourth grades. Our goal is to provide students with the information and resources to be able to bike safely and independently. We will continue to work with local partners to offer bike rodeos, walk and bike to school encouragement campaigns, and education programs at both summer youth programs and at schools during Walk and Bike to School Month in May.
The mission of the Charles R. Wood Foundation is to provide assistance to not-for-profit organizations with an emphasis on programs for children, healthcare and the arts. The Heart Network is grateful for their support and excited to continue to build a Safe Routes to School movement in the North Country.