Keeping Kids Safe in Memphis
This is the eighth post in a series of 10 guest blog posts from the leaders of Safe Kids Worldwide affiliates that FedEx works with around the world in support of child pedestrian road safety initiatives. With tens of thousands of vehicles on the world’s roadways, FedEx is actively engaged in promoting road safety. This month, we will hear from Kristin Rosenthal, Program Manager, Safe Kids Worldwide
Keeping Kids Safe in Memphis
As the program manager for pedestrian and bike safety at Safe Kids Worldwide, I spend much of my days at my desk working with amazing people from communities across the country to educate parents and caregivers about child injury prevention. It’s a truly fulfilling job because it’s all about keeping kids safe.
But my favorite experiences are the times that allow me to go out to the community and help children and families first hand.
In 2012, we worked with FedEx to make safety modifications at Treadwell Elementary, a school in Memphis with one of the highest rates of pedestrian injuries. The initiative is part of our Walk This Way program, created in 1999 to bring national and local attention to pedestrian safety issues.
In this case, we partnered with Safe Kids Mid-South and other community leaders to make real changes for the Treadwell students who walk to school. I was in Memphis for the process from beginning to end. My first trip was in August 2012. We examined crosswalks, street corners and signs all around the city to see how our efforts could make the biggest impact.
Over time, the changes we recommended were implemented and on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, Safe Kids and FedEx hosted a special Ribbon Cutting event in Memphis at Treadwell Elementary. More than 700 Treadwell Elementary students participated in the activities, which included a parade (led by cheerleaders), a marching band and plenty of pedestrian safety education. FedEx Senior Vice President for U.S. Operations Matthew Thornton III, Safe Kids President and CEO Kate Carr, school and city officials, as well as representatives from the City of Memphis Mayor’s office and Shelby County Mayor’s office participated at the event and spoke at a press conference.
Students, parents and teachers were so excited about the transformation – changes to traffic flow around the school, high visibility crosswalks, improved landscaping, installation of signage, and Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB), the first of its kind in Tennessee. See for yourself in this video.
Whether I’m at my desk or out in the community, I look forward to continuing working with FedEx and our work through the Walk This Way program to ensure that every child has a safe walk to school and beyond.
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