On Feb. 22, a kick-off event was held at Oakley Elementary school, 7200 Oakley Terrace in Union City, to officially launch the program.
At the event, about 150 students received instruction regarding safety for both pedestrians and those riding bikes.
Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson was present and began the discussion held in the gymnasium of the school.
Vinyl Baker, account supervisor and grants manager, identified the funding for the program and applied because she thought it would be a vital education opportunity for both the students and the school system as a whole.
“I saw the grant announcement and I was concerned about the safety of our children as it relates to pedestrian safety,” Baker said.
Baker said she also wanted to do what they could to help “increase awareness among school-age children about pedestrian safety near traffic and to practice safe behavior.”
Funding in the full amount of $27,900 was given to the school system to partner with the sheriff’s office to make the program a reality.
This funding was facilitated from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, which received the funding from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.
As apart of the program, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration children pedestrian curriculum was administered to Oakley Elementary students by the sheriff’s office community outreach unit.
Students were provided with both a safety vest and a helmet at the conclusion of the program.
The instruction and tips the students learn, however, become a pool of knowledge they can pass onto others, said Baker.
“The goal is for students to become familiar with pedestrian safety and to reduce the number of incidents of students hit by motor vehicles,” Baker said. “The students are able to then share the lesson plans with their peer groups and parents.”
The program is an additional resource for the numerous youth initiatives Jackson has spearheaded, added Baker.
“This is a way for Sheriff Ted Jackson to expand the existing programs such as GREAT, homeless initiatives senior and law enforcement together, youth invention program and others,” Baker said.