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‘Safe Routes to School’ seeks local program volunteers

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SHIRLEY — Today, more than ever, there is a need to provide options that allow children to walk and bicycle to school safely, especially now that buses are no longer available for Shirley school children who live within two miles of their schools.

We have many issues to deal with — traffic congestion around the schools, motor vehicle emissions polluting the environment, the general reduction in physical activity that contributes to the growing epidemic of obesity, and the general safety and well-being of our community’s children.

At first glance, these problems may seem to be separate issues, but the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program can address all these challenges through a coordinated action plan.

The Shirley SRTS core committee is currently seeking to identify volunteer pedestrian and bicyclist safety advisors; school employees; fitness specialists; concerned neighbors, children and parents; engineers; safety experts; businesses that may wish to help fund materials such as orange vests, safety cones and printed educational materials; law enforcement officers; crossing guards; neighborhood groups; community leaders; and transportation and public health professionals.

If you are interested in helping to form a Safe Routes to School program, to make walking and bicycling to school safer for children, or are a parent whose child lives within two miles of his or her Shirley school, please contact Dina Samfield at (978) 448-9311, or by e-mail to dsamfield@gmail.com.

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