- Published on 03 April 2012
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Students from Crete Elementary are taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle after the BOLTAGE Project kicked off Monday.
BOLTAGE is a project encouraging kids to walk or bike to/from school. Students receive an RFID (radio frequency identification tag) when they sign up. Students can sign up through backpack mail or on Tuesdays or Thursdays before or after school in the gym beginning the first week in April.
The tag goes on their backpack or bike helmet. Each day a student walks/bikes they simply pass under the BOLTAGE unit which records the trip. Encouragement prizes are distributed along the way based on the number of trips each student logs. Bused students will have the opportunity to participate over recess. Each student who logs four laps around the green space will be able to scan their RFID tag each day.
Pedometers and bike helmets will be provided to participating students after logging just 10 trips. Pedometers will help educate students on the number of steps they log in a day. Helmets will be required for students biking to school in order to receive prizes.
“Wearing a helmet to protect your head and brain from injury is critical,” Natalie Kingston, Public Health Solutions District Health Department, Project Coordinator said. “One never knows when an accident could happen and unfortunately a brain injury is permanent.”
The Health Department continues to encourage more walking/biking as a way to alleviate traffic around the school at the beginning and end of the school day. Kingston is working with the City of Crete, school administration and staff and the Crete Police Department to enhance safety in and around the building.
The overall goal of the BOLTAGE project is to create a social norm that is more accepting and supportive of walking or biking to school and school activities, thereby increasing the number and safety of those walking and biking to school. The Health Department is hoping families will take time to re-evaluate their morning transportation modes in order to increase physical activity and reduce traffic and air pollution in and around the school.
Public Health Solutions District Health Department was awarded funding through the Nebraska Department of Roads Safe Routes Nebraska. The program provides schools and community groups with funding to address safety issues to and from school. These improvements include engineering solutions as well as safety training, awareness and strategies to encourage children to get the exercise they need to lead happy, healthy lives. Crete Elementary is the first rural school in Nebraska selected as a pilot site for the project.