Winter Safety

Wednesday Jan 4th, 2023

Now that winter is upon us and the second half of the school year has started, it's a good time to remember thousands of students are walking to school every day --- no matter the weather --- and they need to arrive safely. Student walking safety is a critical issue facing our community.

Strong Vincent Middle School, a community school, is doing their part to help with student walking safety this winter. The program they've started, Call a Colonel, a new concept forged as a partnership between Strong Vincent and Our West Bayfront.

Call a Colonel was established to foster an entrepreneurial spirit within students and meet the needs of neighbors who may not have the time or capacity to shovel/rake their yards. Students living in the Our West Bayfront neighborhood are recruited who demonstrate being responsible and reliable. With parent permission, students who demonstrate being responsible and reliable were enrolled in the program. Our West Bayfront has promoted the availability of Call a Colonel and encouraged residents to apply for assistance. Once a resident was cleared through Our West Bayfront they were connected with the student available to shovel. Students ask for a nominal fee allowing them the opportunity to earn money for their service.

"Our hope is this program encourages our students to be more involved in their community, to increase parent engagement and to keep sidewalks safe and walkable." said Kaitlyn Falk, community school coordinator at Strong Vincent. 

Kaitlyn went on, "I think this program can be a great reminder to the neighborhood that it is a resident’s responsibility to keep their sidewalks cleaned. As we mention the safe routes to school initiative, it’s imperative that people realize that these routes are NOT safe if residents don’t shovel. As a walker myself, I see many of the students walking in the road when the sidewalks aren’t shoveled. It’s my hope that residents not taking care of their sidewalks can be gently encouraged to use Call a Colonel to keep things safer!"