Safe Kids Springfield joined local school children and FedEx volunteers on Wednesday, Oct. 9 to raise awareness about pedestrian safety on International Walk to School Day. More than 250,000 children across the United States participate in the annual event to learn safe walking skills and to encourage the creation of safe walking environments.
“Each year, as part of the Walk This Way pedestrian safety program, parents and schools work together to model safe behavior for children walking to and from school or around their neighborhood,” said Daphne Greenlee, coordinator for Safe Kids Springfield and trauma outreach coordinator for Mercy Hospital Springfield. “Children will often repeat the behaviors of adults, therefore it is imperative that parents be a positive role model so we can ensure the safety of children.” Safe Kids partners worked with Springfield’s Weller Elementary this year to focus on pedestrian safety around their neighborhood.
In 2000, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities. Safe Kids and FedEx address the issue through research, physical improvements to school zones, and education and awareness campaigns throughout the year, such as International Walk to School Day.
Safe Kids coalitions across the country will work with more than 1,000 elementary schools around International Walk to School Day to hold events for children to teach them how to walk safely and recognize pedestrian dangers. At many of the schools, FedEx volunteers will work with coalition leaders and teachers to share safety tips and show students the importance of driver visibility and pedestrian awareness, using FedEx trucks to simulate real street environments.
“With more than 90,000 vehicles on the road daily, we understand FedEx has a critical role to play in actively promoting a culture of safety around the world,” said Rose Flenorl, Manager of FedEx Global Citizenship. “International Walk to School Day is one of the annual highlights of our long-standing collaboration with Safe Kids, as it showcases the passion of FedEx volunteers, safety experts and drivers for keeping our communities safe and healthy.”