Woburn is the 500th public school district to sign on with the state's 'Safe Routes to School' program.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced the city's participation in the federal program yesterday. With Woburn taking part, Massachusetts becomes the first state in the country to have such a large group of districts participating in 'Safe Routes.'
“MassDOT is excited to recognize Massachusetts as the first state to recruit 500 Safe Routes to School Partners," said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. "This achievement is a testament to the commonwealth’s unique Safe Routes to School program structure, the efforts of program staff, and the commitment of our communities to make walking and bicycling safer and more widely used travel modes for our school children.”
Woburn has enrolled all 10 schools and its 3,351 students into the program. With those schools and students, there are approximately 230,000 students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade and 147 communities using the Safe Routes to School pedestrian safety initiatives and outreach education services.
“We are pleased to be working with Safe Routes to School as a way to promote pedestrian safety and wellness activities for our students and their families,” said Superintendent Mark Donovan.
“There is powerful research that shows a connection between physical exercise and learning, so we look forward to having Woburn students and families participate in the activities that Safe Routes to School will offer," he added. "Our community is very proud that the Woburn School District pushed the number of participating schools in Massachusetts over the 500 Partner mark.”
According to the Department of Transportation, the 'Safe Routes' schools receive year-round pedestrian and bicycle safety education instruction, engagement initiatives tailored to meet each school’s physical fitness, safety and environmental priorities; and they are eligible to receive infrastructure improvements that enable enhanced student accessibility and safety.