Among the funding requests made to the Colorado Department of Transportation for non-infrastructure Safe Routes to School grants is an application from the Denver Osteopathic Foundation for child pedestrian and bicycle safety classroom presentations. This piqued my interest -- all of the other grant requests are from cities and school districts -- so I rang up the Foundation's Executive Director Phyllis Ring.
Part of the mission of the Denver Osteopathic Foundation is "to elevate through education the health and well being of the community." Most Cyclelicious readers are aware of the health and community benefits of bicycling so I won't rehash that here, but it makes sense for a Foundation with that mission to promote walking and biking to school and I applaud their efforts in this area.
I am a little concerned that the Foundation seems to focus on helmet use to the exclusion of other, more effective safety education, but Ms. Ring assures me that they plan education in traffic and bicycling skills in addition to helmet promotion. The DOF selected elementary schools in Denver and Douglas County to work with in their grant application, where they plan both indoor classroom presentations and outdoor instruction.
The Colorado Safe Routes to School advisory committee and CDOT are expected to make their recommendations known by May 2006 or so. About $6.5 million was requested out of a budgeted pool of about $2.3 million.