Healthy Volusia

Community Spotlight

Organization Name: Edith I. Starke Elementary School
Event/Program Title: 2018 Walk to School Day

Edith I. Starke

Celebrating the 21st year of Walk to School Day, Edith I. Starke Elementary School participated in the 2018 Walk to School Day. This event is part of a growing movement to encourage year-round safe routes to school programs. Eilene Ahr, Assistant Principal of Starke was thrilled to have over 70 students walk and bike to school with parents, law enforcement representatives, and volunteers from Stetson University, Department of Health-Volusia County and the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida (HPCNEF).

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are committed to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging students to walk and bicycle to school. SRTS provides teacher training through a robust education curriculum that cultivates continual education for students from Kindergarten to 8th grade.

The SRTS also examines conditions in and around schools to improve safety and accessibility, and reduce traffic and air pollution in the vicinity of schools. As a result, SRTS helps make walking and bicycling to school safer and a more appealing transportation choice that encourages a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age. Stetson University Office of Community Engagement assisted in the SRTS initiative by completing a Walkability Assessment for the Greater Spring Hill Community in May 2018. Students using a mapping tool identified areas where improvements could be made to infrastructure such as installing and repairing sidewalks; building ramps; adding high-visibility crosswalks; and installing traffic signals to improve pedestrian safety. This assessment will help support funding needed to make improvements in and around the schools as well as throughout Greater Spring Hill.

Walkable neighborhoods also promotes physical activity, strengthens the economic viability of a community and encourages social interaction. A copy of the Greater Spring Hill Community Walkability Assessment Report with the associated recommendations can be found. To learn more about Safe Routes long-term efforts to promote safe walking and bicycling every day, visit saferoutesinfo.org or contact Valerie Feinberg, AICP at Valerie_Feinberg@hpcnef.org

Bikers Trail