Engaging youth in Safe Routes to School programs is an important step in promoting active transportation, increasing kids physical activity and educating them on traffic safety. Younger kids tend to be very energetic and curious and it is usually easier to get them involved and excited about SRTS activities. However, engaging older students can be a challenge because they think walking and biking activities are “uncool.” They may resist advice from adults or teachers about where to walk and bike or even safety tips. If students are provided the knowledge and resources to help plan and develop SRTS programs, they will be more encouraged and likely to be involved and supportive of active transportation.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School developed a Tip Sheet for Engaging Middle School Students [.pdf] in Safe Routes to School programs. The tipsheet lays out their top five tips for getting students involved in SRTS programs and activities:
Do you have a local success story to share about engaging youth in SRTS? Submit a brief summary to firstname.lastname@example.org.