While a local Safe Routes to School program usually has one or two “champions” who initiate and manage the process, it’s important to involve a wide array of representatives from your community. Safe Routes to School programs are built on collaborative partnerships among many stakeholders that should be brought together to create a Safe Routes to School “team.”
The types of people to invite to serve on your Safe Routes to School Team include:
- School Personnel (the principal, teachers, staff): educate, promote, volunteer.
- PTA/ PTO: volunteer, event funding, route identification, promote.
- Green Team: educate, promote.
- Students: promote, walk route identification, participate.
- Elected Officials: promote, media, policy.
- City Staff (Engineers/ Planners, Police Officers): infrastructure options, enforce, educate, promote, connections.
- Health Organizations (Public and Private): promote, volunteer, school and community outreach.
- Non-profit Organizations: promote, volunteers, outreach.
- Business and Community Leaders: promote, media, volunteers, incentives.
Safe Routes to School programs are unique to the particular community in which they operate. The most successful programs use the expertise of the team of local stakeholders to create a program that is specific to, and reflects your community.
A good starting point could be planning an event. With this success, ask others how they would like to continue. As a group, consider the "6 E’s" for Safe Routes to School, which include: Evaluation, Engineering, Education, Encouragement, and Enforcement and determine priorities. This process could lead to completing an Action Plan which is important when looking to apply for funds and support to continue.
Adapted from SRTS National Partnership: http://saferoutespartnership.org/local/getting-started-locally