Grant promotes safe school travel
A grant that helped build a new sidewalk for students to walk safely between Berkeley Springs High School and Widmyer Elementary School is also funding some safety and awareness events for students, parents and all drivers.
Morgan County’s “Safe Routes to School” grant was approved in 2008. The federal grant is designed to encourage students to walk or bike safely to school.
In addition to encouraging more active children, the project aims to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution along the way.
The two-part grant included $102,000 for design and construction of the sidewalk plus $75,000 in non-infrastructure expenses.
Morgan County officials and schools have used the educational portion of the grant to conduct recent safety assemblies for elementary students, said Grant Administrator Carol York.
Booklets, flyers and pamphlets have been designed to hand out to students and their parents — all emphasizing rules for staying safe while riding, walking or biking to school.
Students are reminded of safety rules for crossing the road, riding their bikes on a public sidewalk and even for walking near school buses and other vehicles.
Students will also make posters to share their safety lessons. The grant will also cover the cost of items for students to take home as reminders of the “Safe Routes to School” message, such as wristbands, lunch bags and
Safety vests, signs and bumper magnets will also be part of the grant expenditures, said York.
A dedication ceremony celebrating the official opening of the new sidewalk on Concord Avenue will be held on Friday, May 13 at 10:10 a.m. The event will start at Widmyer Elementary and proceed down the sidewalk to Berkeley Springs High School. The public is welcome to attend. Rain date for the event is Monday, May 16.