Safe Routes to School September Newsletter
Walk to School Month and Bike Safety Month are in October – Schedule your Virtual and Socially Distanced Events and Programs Today! 

Since 1997, October has been a month where students, parents, and schools across the country have joined together to celebrate and promote the benefits of walking and bicycling to school. 2020 will be no different. Walk to School Day is still on, scheduled for October 7th, and we will be celebrating walking and biking with South Jersey schools and communities all month long! Only this year it will look a little different. 
Cross County Connection has developed virtual education programming and socially distanced community events so your school or town can continue to use October as a month to show your support for biking and walking. Your children can still learn how to be safe pedestrians and bicyclists from the safety of home and at socially distanced events. These programs will also stress the importance of staying active, which is more important than ever as our children are largely staying home to learn in a virtual environment. The program is provided FREE of charge to K-8th graders through a partnership with the New Jersey Department of Transportation. 
Here are just a few of the programs we are offering this fall: 

Virtual bicycle or pedestrian safety classes – We have adapted these popular in school classes to work in a virtual environment. Your students can now participate from home. Our SRTS instructors will use Zoom (or another video platform if you prefer) to share videos, slides, quizzes, and fun activities to ensure the kids learn valuable safety lessons. If preferred, we can also provide our materials and lesson plan to teachers to help them conduct this program on their own. The typical presentation is approximately 20 minutes.
Walking and Bike Safety Poster Contest – Following our safety classes, students will be given the assignment of drawing a poster illustrating a lesson they learned. With a parent’s permission, we will celebrate these students work on our social media and website. No last names will be provided. The top designs will receive special recognition. Students will be excited to see their work become Instagram famous!  
Bicycle Rodeos- Cross County Connection collaborates with local police departments to set-up bike rodeos for kids in grade K-8. Bicycle rodeos consist of stations where children can learn a set of skills to ride their bikes confidently and safely. The police provide instruction from a distance as the child navigates the course. Our SRTS staff will give a socially distanced presentation to parents on how to properly fit their child’s bike helmet. Free helmets are provided for those children who do not have one. All we ask is for parents’ cooperation with following the safety precautions we have put in place. With parents fitting the helmets, there is no need to get close to our SRTS staff.  

Outdoor Bike Safety Class and Helmet Fittings – Do not have enough space for bike rodeo course? Cross County Connection can provide the off-bike portions of the event in a smaller outdoor space that still allows for social distancing. We will share bike safety basics and helmet fitting instructions to children and their parents with the same socially distanced protocols put in place. 

The Golden Sneaker Walking Challenge- This is Cross County Connection’s premier SRTS event. Students will participate in The Golden Sneaker Walking Challenge as part of team with their classmates that will challenge an opposing team of classmates. The team with the most steps wins! The competition can be between classes, grade levels, or in some school districts, between schools! Cross County Connection will provide the pedometers and detailed program materials to ensure a smooth roll-out. We will work with your school to set-up a ceremony to recognize the winning team but also the accomplishments of all participants. The children will be blown away when they learn that their class walked enough steps to reach some far away location like the Empire State Building! 
These are just our core programs. We can discuss additional options that may work in your school or community. The program is adaptive and flexible!  
Please fill out the form below to register for an event or request more information. You may also contact Cross County Connection’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Latifah Sunkett, at or via telephone at 856-596-8228! October will soon be here, so register today! 

Please fill out the form at the following link: 

Want to Learn More About Walk to School Day or Register Your Event and Get Recognition? 
As mentioned above Walk to School Day is Wednesday, October 7th. You can learn more about this special event or see who is participating at the Walk to School Day official website. If you schedule and event with us, or are doing your own event, you can register it on the Walk School Day website and be recognized for your participation.   
Contact us today to get started planning your Walk to School Day Event! 
From the Desk of a SRTS Educator:
Bike Helmet Giveaway 
Michele Geiger, Outreach Specialist & SRTS Educator  
With Summertime 2020 coming to an end (and what a summer it was!), it is now time to focus on going back to school, and the safety of our children. But before homework and projects rain down upon us, I would like to reflect back on the Summer of 2020, and the events Cross County Connection put forward to ensure safety for children while riding their bikes.  
With every challenge comes a silver lining, and I saw many of both this summer during the Covid-19 Virus pandemic. One of the first things we noticed: more families were out riding their bicycles, which means an increased need for safety awareness. 
Cross County Connection found itself with a surplus of bike helmets, once the quarantine kicked in. What to DO with so many helmets?

We decided to donate them to local police departments in South Jersey. The police have long been a partner in the SRTS program and continued to operate during this pandemic. Their desire to keep our community’s children safe did not waiver. We quickly teamed up with eight local departments who were more than thrilled to receive a bike helmet donation. Those departments included: Bellmawr, Gloucester, Egg Harbor Township, Riverside, Palmyra, Pennsville, Voorhees Township and Vineland Police Departments.   

What’s more, we were able to take it a little further and join the Palmyra and Vineland Police Departments for a bike rodeo. Officer Omar Kendall was instrumental in putting together an event in Palmyra where he was able to give out the helmets to the local children. The Vineland PD held two rodeos where children near the event could come and get a fitting for a new helmet or learn how to safely fit the helmet they already had. After being fitted properly for the helmet, the children in Vineland were able to ride through three fun obstacle courses the police set up. Officer Matthew Garvey and Officer Louis Rivera were our champs in Vineland. They took the time to help the children ride through each course teaching them balance and agility, as well as to look for stop signs before entering the street on their bikes. 

I am happy to say that the summertime events were very successful. We were able to donate 280 helmets! With this great success, and a very rewarding experience for all, Cross County Connection has decided to continue to donate more helmets to police departments in our South Jersey region. So, stay tuned, we may be in your local area soon. 
Interested in setting up a police department led bike safety rodeo and helmet-donation program in your town? Call us at: 856-596-8228, or email me, Michele Geiger, at: 

Quote of the month: 
“The bike will transform anyone who is willing to let it happen.” 
~Ina-Yoko Teutenberg 

Ronda R. Urkowitz 
Executive Director
(856) 596-8228

Latifah Sunkett
SRTS Coordinator
(856) 596-8228

SRTS Resources:


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Jersey and Sustainable Jersey
Schools certification points by
participating in SRTS!

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