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Monday, April 7, 2014

State of Tennessee REQUIRES that ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS in grades K-8 receive 90 minutes of “physical activity” each week





State of Tennessee REQUIRES that ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS in grades K-8 receive 90 minutes of “physical activity” each week

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The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness is working with Safe Routes to Schools to implement a pilot study to determine the work needed to help schools in Nashville establish coordinated, regular walking/biking to school. Schools that participate would be part of the first group recognized by the Governor as a Healthier TN Walking School with giveaways and plaques. Below is the criteria for schools to participate and be recognized:



To become a Healthier Tennessee Walking School, schools must do the following:



1. Establish a Safe Routes To School (SRTS) team. This team will plan and implement a regular (once a month) walking to school program. (A school with an active healthy school team that is willing to include this in their programming is a perfect fit)

2. An assessment of the surrounding area, 1-2 miles, of the school is completed and best routes for walking/biking are identified.

3. A plan identifying community partners and describing what form of SRTS will be used is created. (walking school bus, distant drop off locations, routes with chaperons walking, routes with chaperons positioned along the way, etc)

4. A plan to promote the events to students and parents is created.

5. A map is created and shared with stakeholders that identifies the routes that will be chaperoned and used for the monthly events.

6. Schools agree to count and record the number of students participating in active transportation.




At this point, public schools in Nashville are looking to only identify schools that are interested in implementing this sometime in Fall 2014. Please contact your principal if your school is interested in participating in this program.


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In the last 40 years, the rates of students walking to school has dropped 30% according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.





Shade Parade Nashville is dedicated to increasing walkability in Nashville through sidewalk production.  Many parents cite safety issues as the #1 reason that they do not allow their children to walk to school.  Lack of sidewalks certainly adds an element of danger when walking to school.  

There are many benefits to the program described above which gets children out and walking - to be said - this is reason enough to undertake such an endeavor    We know that having 'eyes on the street' - pedestrians - makes streets safer.  Having children walking to school is good for the neighborhood - makes it more interesting and richer.  Having a 'walking school' in your neighborhood is also good for home values as many parents find it desirable to walk their children to school rather than queque up in their cars.

Public schools require a large amount of volunteer work.  Maybe you know a neighborhood school that could use a hand getting this project organized?  

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