EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

Safe Routes Program rewards kids for walking, riding bikes to school

Nov 3, 2023, 6:52 PM

Jack DeMass...

Fourth-grader Jack DeMass rides a new bike he won by taking part in the Safe Routes Program. (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — A program called Safe Routes Utah is encouraging more students to walk and pedal to school.

Fourth-grader Jack DeMass said it’s easy. “You walk, you just take one step then another,” he explained.

Every day kids from all over get themselves to and from school.

“Usually, I walk to school. Sometimes I ride my bike to school if I’m late or if it’s cold,” Jack added. “We always go the same way and when we get back from school, we come out the door, find each other and when we walk we take off.”

Jack and other kids look forward to his roll to and from school every day.

The Safe Routes Walk and Roll Challenge rewards students K-8 with a monthly prize for walking or biking to school. Jack’s mother, Caitlin DeMass, knew he was a perfect candidate.

Jack and Caitlin DeMass

Caitlin DeMass enrolled Jack and her other children in the Safe Routes Program. (KSL TV)

“Since my kids walk and ride to school every day, I had been entering them in,” Caitlin said.

Jack was one of the few lucky winners, getting a prize that made him even more excited about his journey to and from school.

“I’m like, really? This never usually happens to me and then we got to the store I was like, this is it, this is the one, “he said. “I’m like, this is the one, that’s a good bike!”

“It’s good for physical health, it’s good for mental health, our air quality and it takes – as a busy mom – some things off my plate,” Caitlin said. “But I think it’s also an important life skill to help kids be able to develop that confidence and sense of independence as they learn how to get themselves from one place to another safely.”

Managers would like nothing more than to have more parents see the program the same way as Caitlin.

“The more kids who walk and bike to school, the fewer vehicles there will be on the road, so if we can get every kid to walk and bike and those who live far away to ride the bus, then there will be far fewer people driving past the school,” Kristen Hoschouer, Safe Routes Program manager said.

With more kids teaming up to get school together and fewer cars on the road, kids like Jack feel safer and excited about winning the next prize.

“When I got the bike, I’m like yeah, I have to ride this to school,” Jack said.

You can get more on Safe Routes Utah by clicking here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Education & Schools

First lady Abby Cox speaks to Bountiful Elementary school students...

Karah Brackin

Bountiful Elementary School receives kindness award

Cultivating a culture of kindness, the campaign One Kind Act a Day is celebrating Bountiful Elementary students with a special honor.

6 hours ago

Parents and guardians line up outside of Academy Park Elementary School to pick up their students d...

Brianna Chavez

Granite School District holds reunification drill in case of emergency

Academy Park Elementary School administrators, along with Granite School District Police and West Valley City Police guided parents through a reunification drill, something that would go into effect in case of emergency.

23 hours ago

Two women stand shoulder to shoulder...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Family speaks out after boy with special needs left in school van

A family is speaking publicly after saying their little boy was forgotten and left alone inside a school transportation van, as they frantically tried to find him.

2 days ago

Samantha Corey passed away in January following a battle with rhabdomyosarcoma. (Photo courtesy: Co...

Andrew Adams

UPDATE: Utah teen who died of cancer will be honored at high school graduation, district announces

Samantha Corey family’s attempt to honor her at her high school’s graduation recently ran into an unintended snag.

2 days ago

FILE — The Alpine School Board is narrowing down options that could be put to voters in November...

Larry D. Curtis

Board votes to continue study of two-way split of Alpine School District

The board of education voted Tuesday to continue a study of a potential two-way split of the Alpine School District

3 days ago

A sign reminding Copper Hills High School students and staff to keep their hands clean during the c...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah school districts working to prioritize what stays when COVID relief money runs dry

Utah's school districts are working to figure out how they will continue to pay for programs propped up by COVID-19 relief funds.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Safe Routes Program rewards kids for walking, riding bikes to school