(Chelsea Update would like to thank Matt Pegouskie for the information in this story.)
Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) Coalitions in Chelsea and Dexter are working to make it safer for students to walk, roll and ride bikes to school.
The coalitions, in concert with the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation, hired Kristen Delaney to coordinate SR2S, according to a press release.
Matt Pegouskie, Chelsea Wellness Foundation program and community resource manager, spoke with Delaney about her role to develop, implement and grow the project in both communities.
“SR2S is a program that seeks to identify and address the barriers to safe walking and biking to school for K-8 students,” Delaney said.
The SR2S initiative has grown tremendously since it began in the fall of 2012, she said, and after working with an interdisciplinary team from Michigan State University and Wayne State University, “we are half way through the process of creating action plans for two schools in each district.”
Delaney said, “We are working to implement programs that will encourage K-8 students to walk and bike to school. For example, we will be begin several walking school bus routes (children walk to school with an adult or “driver” of the walking school bus) and mileage clubs that will encourage older students to walk and bike more.”
The program received more than $8,000 in grant funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Michigan Fitness Foundation to support initiatives.
The money will be used to establish walking school bus routes in Chelsea and Dexter, as well as a mileage club at Beach Middle School.
In addition, Delaney said, “Bike and Roll to School Day is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8, to coincide with the National Bike to School Day.”
Chelsea schools will participate for the first time, she said.
Anyone who is interested in getting involved is encouraged to contact Delaney at 734-433-4599 or via email at [email protected].