High school students from Treasure Valley youth leadership organizations advocated for Safe Routes to School legislation during Idaho Youth Lobby Day at the State Capitol on Friday, February 3, 2017. Check out the Facebook album for more photos and a video!
The students discussed the importance of physical activity to the health of children. Having access to safe places to walk, bike and play allows children of all ages to make physical activity a part of their day, which leads to a lifetime of healthy habits. Safe Routes to School funding helps improve opportunities to walk and bike to school promoting the ability for all students, and entire communities, to be physically active – safely and easily.
Representatives from the Safe Routes to School – Healthy Kids coalition (Idaho Walk Bike Alliance, American Heart Association, Treasure Valley Safe Routes to School program, and Idaho Smart Growth) and other adult volunteers were on hand to help escort students to scheduled meetings with legislators, stay on topic and keep them on schedule. Some students conducted walking meetings with the legislators as well, to help identify those things that enhance safe walking and biking, as well as barriers. This 7th annual youth lobby event was sponsored by the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association to give students the opportunity to see firsthand how government operates and to participate in the process. It also allowed them to learn more about the Idaho State Legislature and issue advocacy and to meet with their representatives.
These photos show why more funding is needed in communities throughout Idaho: