A hallmark of our program has been our creative educational programs which encourage student-to-student outreach to convey safety and environmental messages in a meaningful manner. Like many communities, we grapple with how to involve and motivate older students in our Safe Routes programs. We also seek to truly reach younger students with educational programs that resonate with them, instead of “preachy” adults telling them how to be safe. Our solution has been to involve older students in educational outreach programs to younger students.
Middle and high school students have performed safety skits at our intermediate school over the past five years. These customized skits were developed through a partnership with our local community theater, the Chagrin Valley Little Theater, and it’s youth theater director, Julia Kolibab.
Skits have included themes like feeling good and healthy when walking, handling bullying that might occur on the way to school and being polite and courteous in town. Sometimes they even include a song performed by the student actors at the end.