Three schools in Genesee County will receive almost $15,000 in grants to develop programs that encourage more students to walk and bicycle safely to school. The mini-grants, which average just over $4,000 each, are from the federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding.

The announcement was made by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Michigan Fitness Foundation. Both work with schools, neighborhoods, students, teachers and parents on SRTS initiatives.

There are two categories of grant funding. One focuses on eliminating barriers to safe walking and bicycling with such safety improvements as sidewalk replacement and repair, crosswalk marking, installing bike racks and signs, and traffic calming and speed reduction measures. The other category focuses on education activities to teach children to be safe and responsible on roadways and sidewalks while enjoying the health benefits of physical activity.

State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle said MDOT "is pleased to participate in this program" and "Safe Routes empowers school to provide educational campaigns with proven track records."

In Genesee County, Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary will receive a $4,993 mini grant to continue its Walking School Bus program. The program encourages students who live within a 1.5 mile radius of the school to walk in groups along designated routes. Scott Elementary will receive $5,000 to establish a similar program for up to 40 students that will operate on a daily basis before and after school, and also serve students attending after-school programs. Washington Elementary School will receive $4,992 to continue its Walking School Bus Program. Both Washington Elementary and Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary receive their grans in partnership with the Crim Foundation.

More information about the Safe Routes to Schools program can be found here.