CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- In mid-September, fifth- and sixth-graders from Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School took educational field trips to locations around the Village of Croton-on-Hudson with representatives of the community safety initiative "Safe Routes to School."
"It was so nice to see how the community joined together to make sure that our students feel our love and support, and to agree on how important it is that they remain safe," said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Deborah O'Connell.
The initiative is a partnership between the village and village police department, with support from the board of education and board of trustees. Its goal is to enhance safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians -- so all members of the community will understand their responsibility for everyone's protection.
The village is supporting the efforts through a campaign called "Slow Down Croton."
"We are pleased with our safety initiative and partnership with the village," said O'Connell. "Our plans for the year will impact both the elementary school and the high school, in our efforts to always improve the well-being of our students. As the saying goes, 'it takes a village.'"
The community effort was underscored as village leaders, members of the police department, school district administrators, teachers and parents all took part in making the safety walks successful.
Students learned both classic important tips, like looking both ways before crossing the street, and more modern ones, like putting their phones away so they won't be distracted while walking.
PVC Assistant Principal Michael Plotkin and Athletic Director Thomas Cunningham have spearheaded the Safe Routes to School effort. Plotkin noted that the initiative ties into the school's emphasis on safety. "Safe Routes to School is part of some of the things that we do at PVC every day," he said.
"We saw this as an excellent opportunity to collaborate," said Mayor Greg Schmidt. "Seeing the students out there with their teachers and members of the community gave us a real sense of how they walk and where they walk. The students were very engaged in the process and had some very good ideas for us."
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