As thousands of National City students return to school, our thoughts turn to there safety as they go to and from our schools. National City is taking part in an international program dedicated to ensuring child safety on their daily journey.
What is Safe Routes to School?
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is an international movement that works to increase the number of children walking and biking to school safely and can be found in many communities all over the United States. The City of National City, in partnership with the National School District and the community, started a SRTS program about 10 years ago. Recently, the City partnered with Rady Children’s Hospital to develop and support SRTS programs at all ten elementary schools in the District. The main focus of National City’s SRTS program is the creation of volunteer Parent Safety Patrol programs at each school.
What is the Parent Safety Patrol?
The Parent Safety Patrol is a group of volunteers (most of which are dedicated parents) who work very closely with school administration and staff, City staff, the National City Police Department, the Safe Routes to School team, and community members to keep students safe on their way to and from school. The Parent Safety Patrol also provides health and safety information to parents, students, and local businesses to make sure everyone is doing their part to keep our school zones safe. The National City Police Department and the SRTS team completed training for the first group of volunteers at the first four schools and will continue to provide ongoing support throughout the upcoming school year.
What does the Parent Safety Patrol do?
The main goals of the Parent Safety Patrol are to: 1) provide adult supervision along key walking routes to and from school, and 2) report safety issues. Volunteers are trained to be “expert observers” and watch pedestrian and driver behavior. Before and after school, the Parent Safety Patrol volunteers, wearing bright yellow safety vests and carrying clipboards, will be stationed on nearby street corners. You may see them writing notes on their clipboards when they see a safety issue or traffic violation. These notes will help the SRTS team create education and outreach materials for students and parents on their way to school. These notes will also be put into monthly reports for City Engineering and the Police Department to help them better understand and solve traffic problems around school zones.
How can I be part of the Parent Safety?
The SRTS team has already started a Parent Safety Patrol program at Kimball, John Otis, Olivewood and Central Schools. Over the next few years we will continue to work with our partners to create and support Parent Safety Patrol programs at the other six elementary schools in the District, all with the same goal of keeping our children safe. If you have any questions about the Parent Safety Patrol program or would like to be a part of our team, please feel free to email or call the SRTS team at 858-576-1700 ext. 3784 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the City of National City and the Safe Routes to School Team for a Bike Lane Celebration on October 16, 2014.
Check out this short promotional video as an example of work this program makes possible.