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Stay Active, Stay Healthy at the Long Branch Library

On May 1st 2018, EZ Ride’s Safe Routes to School team conducted a Pedestrian Safety Presentation (PSP) for the Long Branch Public Library’s after school program. With the arrival of spring and more people walking outside, the Library wanted to feature this event.  Fifteen people attended the well-advertised community event, including  thirteen kids and two parents.

This program was conducted as part of a Highway Traffic Safety (HTS) grant and our Healthy Community Network (HCN) grant funded by the New Jersey Department of Health.

Kids were taught that they need a minimum of sixty minutes of vigorous daily exercise to stay healthy, and that physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated – it can be as simple as walking. They also learned that eating healthier foods is an important part of staying healthy. After all, we are what we eat.

We emphasized the four rules to be a safe pedestrian – STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and THINK –  which we ask the children to repeat after us with hand gestures. They really enjoyed this and it made our presentation very interactive. We then elaborated on the four rules with interactive slides.

We emphasized the importance of stopping completely before crossing in the crosswalk, and the need to look for cars on the left, right and left again before crossing.  We told them that listening and being alert are very important for pedestrians and for drivers as well. As we walk, we need to listen for emergency vehicles, watch for cars and trucks backing up, and be aware of our surroundings which is why using headphones or smartphones while walking is very dangerous.  Last, we talked about how to get the attention of drivers while we walk by wearing bright clothes or waving to the drivers at intersections before we cross.

Towards the end of the presentation, all the kids were asked to come up to demonstrate the things they learned on a mini roadway.  They also received bookmarks and tip cards on how to be safe as pedestrians.

Nekesha Marshall, Family Service Manager at the Library and a resident of Long Branch, who helped us set this event says, “The kids enjoyed the presentation about pedestrian safety and are ready to put what they learned into daily practice. It was great they got some tip about healthy eating. Although the after school snacks they purchase are not always on the healthy side, they can work on making better choices every day and our after school library program can help by reminding them to eat healthier”.

We are grateful for the partnership of the local librarians who are part of our Shaping Long Branch coalition working to promote physical activity and healthier eating in Long Branch.

For more info or if you wish to setup a presentation about walking or biking safety, please contact Lisa Lee at llee@ezride.org or 201-939-4242, x123.

About the Grantee

EZ Ride

EZ Ride is a non-profit, public-private partnership with a mission to implement transportation programs and services that enhance quality of life, regional mobility and economic opportunity while reducing traffic congestion & air pollution. The Bike & Ped team offers Safe Routes to School (SRTS) services and works to build safe and healthy communities.