Local and school leaders accepted their Safe Routes to School Program awards during a June 29 event at the State House (Submitted photo)

Local and school leaders accepted their Safe Routes to School Program awards during a June 29 event at the State House (Submitted photo)

BOSTON – Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today joined the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) in honoring 13 schools and individuals for their work to promote and train students to bicycle and walk to school in a safe manner as part of the Safe Routes to School Program.

“I am thrilled to see the passion and skills these award winners have exhibited in promoting safe bicycling and walking in their communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The Safe Routes to School program is key to instilling healthy, safe bicycling and walking habits into students at an early age.”

The Program partners with middle and elementary schools to promote and educate students on the best routes to take and on “best practices” for navigating traffic. In addition to safety trainings, the program helps its 746 partner schools state-wide plan event activities and the program assists in creating walking routes to and from school. Each partner school has a designed outreach coordinator who works with members of the community to customize each program to that community.

“Increasing the number of students that walk and bicycle to school is just one of the many steps MassDOT has taken to reduce traffic congestion and emissions across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Transportation & CEO Stephanie Pollack.

200 communities in Massachusetts now have Safe Routes to Schools programs for students.

The program also benefits the Commonwealth’s roadway infrastructure and environment.

During the ceremony, 13 awards were presented, including:

• Exemplary Program by Region:
o Lincoln Elementary School, Winchester
o Joseph H. Gibbons Elementary School, Stoughton
o Burbank Elementary School, Belmont
o Rebecca M. Johnson Elementary School, Springfield

• Community Collaboration
o Milton Transportation & Traffic Sub-Committee

• Measurable Impact Award
o New Bedford Public Schools

• Biking All-Star
o Leroy Wood School, Fairhaven

• Walking All-Star
o The Letourneau Elementary School, Fall River

• Winter Walking and Biking
o Dr. Marcella R. Kelly Full Service Community School, Holyoke

• Regional Safe Routes to School Superhero of the Year
o Mass in Motion Coordinators, Lynn
o Supervisor of Health Services, Stoughton Public Schools
o Newton Safe Routes to School Task Force Founder, Newton
o Mass in Motion Coordinator, North Adams

The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program is funded by MassDOT and Federal Highway Administration dollars.

For more information on Massachusetts Safe Routes to School, visit the SRTS landing page on the MassDOT website: www.mass.gov/massdot/saferoutes, or follow SRTS on Twitter: www.twitter.com/safeRoutes_MA or on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/SafeRoutes.MA