10 September 2010





Leticia Messam, Manager, Traffic Safety Programs, AAA Auto Club South, (813) 288-7988

Christine Stinson, Project Manager, 
WalkSafe Program, (305) 243-8115


WalkSafe is designed to teach children the importance of exercise and improve pedestrian safety ne
ar elementary schools


TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 10, 2010) – In an effort to improve pedestrian safety and increase the physical activity of elementary school children who walk to and from school, AAA and the University of Miami recently partnered to launch the expansion of WalkSafe. WalkSafe is a program designed to teach children the benefits of walking daily and improve pedestrian safety around elementary schools by collaborating with local community organizations.

Each year, approximately 200,000 elementary school children in more than 10 counties across that state of Florida benefit from WalkSafe’s educational component—provided at no cost to schools. The three-day curriculum is taught in the elementary school setting and utilizes video, classroom discussion, street-crossing simulation, and art projects. The curriculum is evidence-based and is proven to improve knowledge of pedestrian safety skills among elementary school children.
“At no cost to schools, the WalkSafe™ program encourages local communities to advocate children’s participation in a safe, healthy lifestyle,” said Leticia Messam, manager, AAA Traffic Safety Programs, AAA Auto Club South. “Schools that implement WalkSafe and utilize the AAA School Safety Patrol program actively engage their students in providing safer, pedestrian-friendly environments and creating increased awareness of traffic safety issues.”
WalkSafe works collectively with AAA School Safety Patrollers to provide collaborative education in traffic safety. AAA’s School Safety Patrol program is praised by education and safety groups around the country for reducing injuries and fatalities among children ages five to 14. Since 1949, 387 lives were saved through the Safety Patrol community service program.
“AAA School Safety Patrollers serve as pedestrian safety role models who can encourage students to use the WalkSafe™ skills while walking to and from school,” said Christine Stinson, WalkSafe™ Project Manager. “Schools can maximize student pedestrian safety through the implementation of both programs.”
The AAA School Safety Patrol program provides students with an opportunity to develop self-confidence and a sense of responsibility, while earning respect and recognition from their peers, school administrators and community leaders. AAA encourages all schools in the pilot counties to implement the WalkSafe and AAA School Safety Patrol programs in order to maximize improvements in their students’ safety
The WalkSafe partnership between AAA and the University of Miami will pilot during the 2010-2011 school year in the following Florida counties: Brevard, Broward, Collier, Duval, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Polk, Seminole, Santa Rosa, and Volusia.
For more information about WalkSafe, visit www.walksafe.us. Or, for more information about the AAA School Safety Patrol program, visit www.AAA.com/SafetyPatrol.
The AAA School Safety Patrol Program™ is the largest safety program in the world, equipping patrollers with the skills and resources needed to ensure children commute to and from school safely. This community program includes more than 562,000 patrollers in 30,000 schools nationwide who dedicate their time to ensure students are safe. The patroller duties are a valuable contribution to reductions in pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

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AAA Auto Club South, 1515 N West Shore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607-4505 United States