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Increasing Capacity for School Travel Planning in the City of Calgary (Phases I and II)
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 provided training and mentoring support in the city of Calgary to build local capacity to implement the school travel planning process. Green Communities Canada's Guide for Facilitators was employed in the delivery of these comprehensive training sessions while its School Travel Planning Toolkit supported facilitator mentorship. To date, five Active School Travel Facilitators have been trained and mentored in Calgary project schools, thanks to funding from the Alberta Traffic Safety Fund and the City of Calgary.
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 with one another. Not surprisingly, schools are natural environments to find prospective Active School Travel Facilitators. As Ever Active Schools has the opportunity to work in many Alberta schools, we are able to identify and approach champions about facilitation in their communities.
Training and mentoring facilitators is ongoing work: even though Phase I of the Calgary project ended in June 2019 when these five facilitators completed their mentorship training, we continue to train new facilitators in municipalities throughout the province in order to meet the growing demand for School Travel Planning.
Phase II of Increasing Capacity for School Travel Planning in the City of Calgary began in October 2019, made possible through funding from the City of Calgary. Contracted by Ever Active Schools, these facilitators are in the process of implementing School Travel Planning projects in 10 new Calgary schools. Fourteen new schools will be onboarded in October 2020.
In addition to the five Calgary facilitators, Ever Active Schools has trained and mentored five facilitators to serve school communities in Spruce Grove, Airdrie, Sherwood Park, Leduc, and Edmonton.