WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Safe Kids Worldwide will be joined by FedEx volunteers and hundreds of thousands of local school children across the globe on October 7 to raise awareness of pedestrian safety on International Walk to School Day. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries are the second leading cause of death among children ages 10 to 14 worldwide.
To mark the event, Safe Kids coalitions and member countries will hold more than 600 International Walk to School Day activities around the globe as part of the Safe Kids Walk This Way pedestrian safety program. Safe Kids coalitions in the United States will team up with hundreds of FedEx volunteers to teach local school children how to be safe pedestrians as they walk to and from school and raise awareness around specific pedestrian dangers or issues in their community.
“The best way to truly understand the hazards our children face as they walk to and from school is to see the world through their eyes,” said Mitch Stoller, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Educational programs are a good start, but we must also build safer environments for kids to walk. No child should be put in danger simply because they are walking to school or around their neighborhood.”
In 2008, Safe Kids launched a new initiative in the pedestrian safety program called PHOTOVOICE: Children’s Perspectives on Road Traffic Safety. More than 1,600 students in seven countries captured photos and commented on the dangers they saw on roadways. Participants were armed with cameras again this year and given the opportunity to take photographs of their walking environments, documenting pedestrian and driver behaviors as well as the potential hazards these children faced as they walked to school. The photographs focused on important local pedestrian safety issues and will be on display in each participating community.
The PHOTOVOICE project expanded in 2009 when 16 Safe Kids USA coalitions and six Safe Kids Worldwide member countries unveiled environmental improvements such as reconstructing a broken sidewalk and painting crosswalks in school zones in celebration of International Walk to School Day. The changes were made to help make walking safer for children and were inspired by the photographs taken earlier in the PHOTOVOICE project.
Program sponsor FedEx provided a special grant to fund the local improvements in honor of the Safe Kids Walk This Way program’s 10-year anniversary. The seven member countries of Safe Kids Worldwide participating in the project received grants totaling $100,000.
“Safety is one of our company’s core values, and we have been dedicated to improving child pedestrian safety through the Safe Kids Walk This Way program,” said David J. Bronczek, president and CEO, FedEx Express. “Our employees have worked hand-in-hand with Safe Kids Worldwide for 10 years to teach children how to stay safer when they walk. This new environmental grant was a way for FedEx to make an even larger impact on our community by supporting significant changes that will make walking safer for everyone.”
In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities. Over the past 10 years, the program has expanded to include Brazil, Canada, China, India, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines where it has educated more than 4 million children.
About Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. More than 600 coalitions and chapters across the U.S. and nineteen member countries across the globe bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $34 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 275,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.International Walk to School Day is dedicated to walking to school with a purpose — to promote physical activity, safety, health and concern for the environment. International Walk to School Day is promoted nationally by The Partnership for a Walkable America, www.walktoschool.org.