Saturday, October 26, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
On Walks To Maywood School, Conflicts Down, Caring Up
One morning during this school year, an adult male driving a van near Irving Middle School 805 S. 17th Ave. in Maywood, tried luring who he thought was a 13-year-old into his vehicle. The teenager turned out to a 23-year-old employee of a program hatched and implemented by parents and community organizations in order to avoid just this scenario.
“The worker radioed me, I called the police and they ended up catching him on 23rd and St. Charles,” said Antonette Dorris, the program director for Smart Routes to School — a pilot initiative that launched during the 2019-20 school year. “When all of that happened, we executed what we had been trained to do, but when I got home and my coworker told me, ‘Do you realize what happened today?’ I just lost it. That really could’ve been a 13-year-old girl.”
Testimonies to the success of the Smart Routes to School program have been piling up ever since the program was launched in the fall, District 89 officials and community members have said.
The program is the brainchild of District 89 parents who sit on the Safety and Violence Prevention Committee, an offshoot of the Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership — a faith-based social justice nonprofit based in Maywood. Continue to full article in the Village Free Press.
Built Environment It's mission is to develop a system for safe passage to schools and a culturally relevant model to increase community safety and promote physical activity and walkability.