John Vander Sluis Recognized as a Safe Routes to School Champion

John preps folks for a walking audit at Cedarhurst Elementary.

John Vander Sluis of Washington Bikes received national recognition from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for his strategic thinking and efforts to advance Safe Routes to School policies and programming in South King County. 

John is the manager of the Bicycle Alliance’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) Safe Routes to School project, which is funded by a grant from Public Health of Seattle and King County.  This project established Safe Routes to School programs at 17 schools in 6 school districts and provided safe biking and walking training to 1500 low-income kids in South King County.  The participating school districts were Auburn, Kent, Renton, Highline, Tukwila and Seattle.

As the project draws to a close, John has focused recent efforts on helping schools make sustainable, long-term plans for their programs and organizing a Safe Routes to School policy workshop for school officials, transportation planners, and community partners.

“It’s a nice acknowledgment of the work that the Bicycle Alliance and our partners have accomplished over a very short period of time,” commented John on the CDC recognition.  “I’ve been really impressed with the commitment of the school and city staff, not to mention of the parents and families, to creating healthier communities for their students.  I think there’s some good momentum for continuing to improve the opportunities for safe biking and walking in these neighborhoods.”

CPPW is a national initiative to prevent chronic disease and promote health through policy, systems and environment changes.  King County was one of 55 sites around the US awarded grant funding through the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.  Eighteen local individuals and organizationswere recognized for their work to address health inequities and improve community health.

Thanks to Feet First for the photo.
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