Safe Routes for Kids

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from schools. The program has been designed to reverse the decline in children walking and bicycling to schools. Safe Routes to School can also play a critical role in reversing the alarming nationwide trend toward childhood obesity and inactivity.

In 1969, approximately 50% of children walked or bicycled to school, with approximately 87% of children living within one mile of school walking or bicycling. Today, fewer than 15% of schoolchildren walk or bicycle to school.

As a result, kids today are less active, less independent, and less healthy. As much as 20 to 30% of morning traffic can be generated by parents driving their children to schools, and traffic-related crashes are the top cause of death and major injury for children in the U.S. ages 1 to 17.

Concerned by the long-term health and traffic consequences of this trend, in 2005, the U.S. Congress approved $612 million in funding for five years of state implementation of SRTS programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Communities are using this funding to construct new bicycle lanes, pathways, and sidewalks, as well as to launch Safe Routes to School education, promotion and enforcement campaigns in elementary and middle schools.

Wellness: Action for Healthy Kids

With childhood obesity and its alarming consequences at an all-time high, the value of improving nutrition and physical activity in our nation’s schools is clear. But what is not as clear is how to implement the changes needed to make a lasting improvement. The Action for Healthy Kids website provides everything needed to start taking action—from initiating an after-school program to instituting a school wellness policy.

Other topics include academic achievement, advertising/marketing in schools, ala carte foods, alternatives to food as a reward, childhood obesity, co-curricular programs, community family outreach, coordinated school health program, fundraising in schools, minority outreach programs, nutritional information, physical activity, physical education, school health advisory councils, staff wellness programs, and vending/snack stores.

Wellness: America Walks

America Walks is a national coalition of local advocacy groups dedicated to promoting walkable communities. Its members are autonomous grassroots organizations from across the country, each working to improve conditions for walking in their area.

The mission of America Walks is to foster the development of community-based pedestrian advocacy groups, to educate the public about the benefits of walking, and, when appropriate, to act as a collective voice for walking advocates.

To carry out their mission, they provide a support network for local pedestrian advocacy groups. They offer advice about how to get started and how to be effective with public officials and engineering and design professionals.

Currently there are walking groups in St. Louis and Columbia.



MO HealthNet for Kids

The Department of Social Services provides many services for Missouri children through the MO HealthNet for Kids (MHK) Program, the state’s healthcare program for children. Two divisions within the department, the Family Support Division and the MO HealthNet Division coordinate to provide these services.

Through the MO HealthNet for Kids program, children receive full, comprehensive coverage including primary, acute and preventative care, hospital care, dental and vision care as well as prescription coverage. Whether your child is currently enrolled in MO HealthNet for Kids or you’re interested in learning more about the program, this portal page has been created to help you find information from all three divisions including how to apply, who is eligible, what benefits are offered and how to find a doctor in your area.

To check for eligibility, cost, application procedures, availability of services, visit the Missouri Department of Social Services website. You may apply online, call 1-888-275-5908 (toll free), or visit your local Family Support Division office.