August 24, 2010

A Step in the Right Direction - Secretary Duncan Promotes Safe Routes to School at Maury Elementary 

Chancellor Rhee and Mayor Fenty Join Nearly 100 Students, Parents in Walk, Bike to School

Contact: Safiya Jafari Simmons | (202) 480-0857

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Chancellor Rhee, Mayor Fenty and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan walk Maury Elementary’s Safe Route to School on Tuesday morning. | Photo by Vikrum Aiyer
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Chancellor Rhee, Mayor Fenty and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan walk Maury Elementary’s Safe Route to School on Tuesday morning. | Photo by Vikrum Aiyer
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Chancellor Rhee, Mayor Fenty and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan walk Maury Elementary’s Safe Route to School on Tuesday morning. | Photo by Vikrum Aiyer
DCPS-PR-Safe-Walk-8-2010-1.jpg
Chancellor Rhee, Mayor Fenty and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan walk Maury Elementary’s Safe Route to School on Tuesday morning. | Photo by Vikrum Aiyer
DCPS-PR-Safe-Walk-8-2010-5.jpg
Chancellor Rhee, Mayor Fenty and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan walk Maury Elementary’s Safe Route to School on Tuesday morning. | Photo by Vikrum Aiyer

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Mayor Adrian Fenty, Chancellor of Schools Michelle Rhee, U.S. Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, and State Superintendent of Education Kerri Briggs joined nearly 100 students and parents in a “Walking School Bus” commute to school Tuesday, along a two-block route from Lincoln Park to Maury Elementary in Ward 6.

The event promoted the importance of safe, healthy lifestyles and the value of pedestrian safety for school-age children who share the road with cars, bicyclists and buses.

Gathered at Lincoln Park with their parents and siblings, Maury students played on the nearby playground while parents socialized before the walk at 8:30 a.m. Duncan, Fenty, Rhee, Mendez and Briggs walked with the students to begin their second day of the 2010-11 school year.

Principal Carolyne Albert-Garvey thanked parent Jerome Young for his work as the lead parent coordinator of the school’s Safe Routes to School team that shepherded the program from planning to implementation. The team began working last November to create a dedicated, safe walking route to the school, including the addition of pedestrian signals and marked crosswalks. The Maury Safe Route to School Walking Bus convenes every Wednesday morning at 8:15 a.m.

Tuesday's event also supported first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative, aimed at confronting the problem of childhood obesity through fitness and proper nutrition.

“Student safety is our highest concern, and each of our teachers, principals and staff members share that commitment,” said Chancellor Rhee. “Through this program, children develop safety skills they can apply on the way to school and in other contexts throughout their lifetimes. It also aims to make parents and community members aware of the goals of their school’s Safe Routes to School program and how their behavior impacts safety conditions around the school.”

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