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Increasing Capacity for Active School Travel Planning
Schools are hubs of community, and quality school travel planning initiatives can reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and contribute to health and learning outcomes. Phase I of this project provides training and mentoring support in the City of Calgary to build local capacity to implement the school travel planning process.
To date, five Active School Travel Facilitators have attended training sessions and are being mentored in current project schools to prepare for work at additional schools in Calgary starting in September 2019. The City of Calgary's Livable Streets initiative, in partnership with SHAPE AB and Ever Active Schools, has provided honoraria funds for facilitators until June 2019.
The School Travel Planning process is a community builder. When invested school community champions work together to make their spaces safer and better for active travellers, that community is strengthened: more people get outside, get active, and connect to one another. Not surprisingly, schools are natural environments to find prospective Active School Travel Facilitators. As SHAPE and Ever Active Schools have the opportunity to work in many Alberta schools, we are able to identify and approach champions about facilitation in their communities.
Since attending training sessions, our Active School Travel Facilitators have assisted three current project schools with implementing action plans and collecting follow up data. They will continue to support these schools in addition to onboarding two new project schools until June 2019. Training and mentoring facilitators is ongoing work: even though Phase I of this project ended in June 2019 when these five facilitators completed their mentorship training, we will continue to train new facilitators in municipalities throughout the province in order to meet the growing demand for School Travel Planning.
In September 2019, these five facilitators will be contracted by the City of Calgary to implement School Travel Planning projects in 10 new Calgary schools. In addition to the five Calgary facilitators, SHAPE and Ever Active Schools are training and mentoring an additional five facilitators to serve school communities in Spruce Grove, Airdrie, Sherwood Park, Leduc, and Edmonton.