Thanks to the funding of Youth-Neighborhood Small Grants, I was able to put together sidewalk safety packages for 60 school-aged children, mainly 5th graders from my elementary school. I chose 5th graders, specifically because that is the age when kids are beginning to know how to gauge the speed of a moving vehicle. It is also the age when kids strive for more independence and responsibility.
I came up with the idea “Walk-Safe Kits” when I saw a lot of young kids walking home from school without any adults in sight. I was concerned for the kids’ safety because I know how frequent and fatal pedestrian collisions are, especially with young children who may not know the basics of sidewalk safety.
The kits contain a poster about the project, a poster about sidewalk safety, a personal alarm device / flashlight and some snacks. ICBC also provided reflector keychains. My original plan was to come into the classes and talk about the project and then distribute the kits, but because of Covid precautions, we just gave the kits to the principal and the class teachers handed them out.
From making this project, I learned that spreading awareness can be done easily and by anyone. Thanks to our principal and Parent Association Committee (PAC) chairs, I was able to help spread the word throughout my school. I hope that the Walk-Safe Kits encourage families to start talking about safety while walking and that the kits inspire others to take action towards a cause that they believe in.