The Illinois Department of Transportation recently announced three area schools brought home about $333,000 of $5.9 million in Safe Routes to School grants awarded to communities around the state.

  • $158,400 to replace sidewalks to Waverly CUSD #6 campus
  • $62,880 for a footbridge and sidewalks to connect a subdivision and Pittsfield/Pikeland schools
  • $111,029 to Carlinville for sidewalks, traffic control devices, pedestrian crossing improvements and secure bicycle parking facilities.

Jacksonville and School District 117 can take advantage of this grant pool to encourage kids to walk and bike to school (including a path along the Town Brook) as part of the Turner Junior High School renovation.

On Hoagland along the Town Brook to Turner Junior High — the perfect place for a protected bike lane.

On Hoagland along the Town Brook to Turner Junior High — the perfect place for a protected bike lane.

Please familiarize yourself with the Community Health Needs Assessment done by the Morgan County Health Department and Passavant Area Hospital. Part of the study included BMI measurements on local school children which showed . . .

  • 24% of Kindergarten students were overweight or obese
  • 42% of 6th grade students were overweight or obese and
  • 46% of freshmen students were overweight or obese.

Controlling metabolic syndrome is one of the community’s health challenges, increasing physical activity is the prescription, and schools are an important part of making this improvement to community health possible.

When School District 117 starts planning for the rehabilitation of Turner Junior High School, please get active and work to ensure Safe Routes to School (including a path along the Town Brook) are incorporated in the designs.

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