Mount Vernon Community School is one of 10 “Local School Project” programs across the country selected to participate in a pilot program supported by a grant from the Kaiser Foundation to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership to develop innovative programs that encourage more students to walk and bicycle to school.
Each “Local School Project” includes $20,000 for the participating school. City of Alexandria staff will collaborate with the school to improve walking and bicycling conditions on the route to school, enabling and encouraging children to walk and bike. The pilot program will officially launch later this summer.
Alexandria established its own Safe Routes to School program in 2003, when Alexandria City Public Schools students participated in the annual International Walk to School Day for the first time. Since that time, the city has been working on several initiatives to encourage students to walk and bicycle to school. The city also has been working on safety improvements such as new sidewalks, crosswalk improvements, speed limit reductions and bicycling parking and bicycle lanes near local schools.
Alexandria partnered with the Washington Area Bicycle Association, Trips for Kids and BikeWalk Virginia to provide in-school pedestrian and bicycle safety lessons for students. School walking maps are provided to students and city staff is coordinating with school administrators, parents and PTA groups to promote safety and fitness through walking and bicycling to school. The city is building a comprehensive program that will engage students from both public and private schools, whenever possible, to walk or bicycle to school.