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October 2010
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CityLink Seattle

Mini Grants to Encourage Kids to Walk or Bike to School

Walking is the most affordable and environmentally-friendly form of transportation, and is also great exercise and an easy way to improve mental and physical health. Unfortunately, many children ride to school in a car, missing out on the benefits of walking.

During October, International Walk to School month, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is accepting applications for mini grants of up to $1,000 to fund creative activities or safety improvements to encourage more children to walk or bike to school.

Both private and public schools, PTAs or other school-related nonprofit groups, may apply. The activities must support the overall goal of educating and encouraging safer walking and bicycling to school.

“These mini grants help fund exciting community-based programs” says Brian Dougherty, SDOT’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator. “For example, they have funded student safety patrol, ‘walking school bus,’ attentive-driving programs, personal safety and bike safety education.” Bryant Elementary School used an SDOT Mini Grant to educate kids about safer walking and biking to school, and in May, more than 140 Bryant kids showed up to school on their bikes on Bike to School Day.

International Walk to School Month is held in October of each year. This event which is held in more than 40 countries gives children, parents, school teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event as they celebrate the many benefits of walking. Schools throughout Seattle have registered to participate including Concord Elementary, Lawton Elementary, Epiphany School and Sacajawea Elementary. For more information about International Walk to School Day, visit http://www.walktoschool.org/

How to Apply for a Mini Grant
For more information and to download a mini grant application, visit http://www.cityofseattle.net/transportation/ped_srts_grant.htm. Send completed applications to Brian Dougherty, Safe Routes to School Coordinator at brian.dougherty@seattle.gov by end of business day Friday, October 29th, 2010. Recipients will be announced by Wednesday, December 1, 2010.

For more information: Brian Dougherty, (206) 684-5124, brian.dougherty@seattle.gov

Media contact: Marybeth Turner, (206) 684-8548