Oakhurst Elementary recognized for providing ‘Safe Routes to School’
People are taking note of Oakhurst Elementary’s efforts to make it safer for students to walk or bike to school.
The Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center has recognized the school as its 2015 “Partner of the Year” for the Metro Atlanta area.
“Winners of this award are chosen based on the progress of their (Safe Routes to School) programs during the past year in getting more students to walk and bike to school and increasing the awareness of SRTS within its community,” a press release from the city of Decatur says. “The Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center has recognized outstanding partners with the Partner of the Year Award since 2011. Clairemont Elementary won the award in 2013 and Renfroe Middle School won in 2014.”
Oakhurst’s program has received national attention. Last year, it was featured in a CNN story about the Safe Routes program. Heather Tell, who is the school’s “champion” for its Safe Routes program, received special recognition for her efforts.
The program offers prizes to encourage students to participate, and local businesses have donated to the effort. The school sends out safety tips in its newsletter and teaches bike safety during its Fall Festival.
“Under the leadership of Parent Champion Heather Tell, Oakhurst Elementary students, staff, teachers, and parents have embraced the Safe Routes to School program as part of the core culture of the school,” the press release from the city says. “Over 60 percent of students regularly walk and bike to school—the highest percentage of any City of Decatur school—and they constantly strive to improve that number.”