On Friday, May 11, Holy Name School celebrated students and the community partnerships necessary to keep them healthy and active at the annual Holy Name Hike. Throughout the day, each grade took turns hiking around the neighborhood and stopped at houses to complete field day activities like the limbo and foam hockey. Over 300 students participated!
At the event, Live Well Omaha Kids unveiled the Safe Routes to Holy Name map to students and school staff as well as handed out backpack reflectors and reusable healthy eating placemats.
The Safe Routes to Holy Name map was created with input from the School Advisory Council, which conducted a walk audit in March to identify and prioritize neighborhood factors that support or inhibit active commuting. Utilizing geographic information system (GIS) mapping tools, the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) created maps that display common paths students and their families can take to walk or bike to school based on where they live.
These moments were captured by photographer Cristian Mendo of Apricity Photo.
Some of the programs, policies, and projects stemming from the walk audit include: incorporating bike safety education into classroom curriculum; installing Safe Routes to School signage along Florence Boulevard and 45th St. to remind drivers to be watchful of children crossing; repainting a bike rack and the cross walks along Florence Boulevard to increase visibility and serve as a visual cue to remind students that they are encouraged to ride their bike or walk to school.
During the 2018- 2019 school year, Holy Name plans to host a Walk to School Day and add crossing guards at arrival and dismissal time to ensure students arrive and depart school safely.
Background of the overall project:
Live Well Omaha Kids teamed up with CUES to bring Safe Routes to School to All Saints School, Holy Name School, and Sacred Heart School. SRTS is provided free of charge through Live Well Omaha Kids thanks to a Preventing Childhood Obesity Community Grant from Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. SRTS is an evidence-based policy change effective at increasing rates of bicycling and walking to school and decreasing injuries.