Mayor Daley’s Safe Routes Ambassadors 2009-2010

Objective: To improve pedestrian safety through targeted education and outreach to children and communities around schools. Chicago Public and Private Schools Chicago Police Department Chicago Department of Transportation – Pedestrian Program (CDOT) Illinois Department of Transportation – Division of Traffic Safety (IDOT)


Results: In 2010, the Safe Routes Ambassadors visited:  94 Chicago schools for in-class presentations, reaching over 8,300 students and over 400 adults  10 Chicago schools for follow-up, on-foot workshops  35 Community events, reaching an additional 1,115 children and 1,756 adults  41 Wards  24 Police Districts In 2010, Mayor Daley’s Safe Routes Ambassadors continued to reach students, parents and school leaders with traffic safety curriculum across Chicago. The Safe Routes Ambassadors are comprised of four education specialists who lead classroom-based presentations for 2nd and 5th graders on pedestrian and bicycle safety. In the weeks following in-class presentations, Ambassadors re-visit some classrooms to lead outdoor, on-foot workshops, teaching children to apply what they have learned in the classroom. In addition to leading presentations and workshops in schools, the Safe Routes Ambassadors also attend community events, parent meetings and teacher resource fairs to reach a broader school and community audience. In FY 2010, the Safe Routes Ambassadors coordinated closely with the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) arm of the

Chicago Police Department to identify high-needs schools. At several of these identified schools, the Safe Routes Ambassadors participated in Parent Patrol trainings and additional community outreach events. Program Highlights: In 2010, the Safe Routes Ambassadors were invited to speak at the National Meeting for Safe Routes State Coordinators. The Safe Routes Ambassadors presented to an audience of nearly fifty state Department of Transportation officials from around the country, highlighting the exciting and engaging programming that is happening in Chicago.

Evaluation: The Safe Routes Ambassadors conducted an outcome evaluation at 16% of schools participating in the classroom presentations during the 2009-2010 school year. The evaluation aimed to measure knowledge gained by students participating in the Safe Routes Ambassador presentations, and included a pre-presentation and a postpresentation quiz. The pre-presentation quiz was in the form of a hand-raising survey given by the Ambassadors immediately before they presented. The post-presentation quiz was in the form of a pencil-and-paper test administered by the teacher between one and four weeks following the Safe Routes Ambassador presentation.

The following table outlines the results of the evaluation:

Themes addressed by quiz questions Asking for permission Stopping at the curb Walking with a grownup Looking left before looking right Age at which riding on the sidewalk is no longer legal How to be visible How to be predictable

Percent change, before and after presentations (average of all classrooms) +28.2 +44.7 +14 +58.5 +35.9 +40.9 +3.3

2nd Grade

Range by percent (upper and lower bounds for improvement, by classroom) (2-44) (7-94) (0-32) (16-93) (11-87) (0-84) (0-16)

5th Grade

The evaluation process was carried out at 21 schools during the months of January and February, 2010. 1 Of the 21 schools, 15 returned enough post-presentation data to be included in the evaluation analysis. The remaining 6 schools were omitted from the analysis. The evaluation analysis shows significant improvement in student knowledge around pedestrian and bicycle safety. For all themes addressed by the quiz, knowledge improved, on average, after the Safe Routes Ambassadors presentation. Percent improvement ranges from 3.3% (how to be predictable) to 58.5% (looking left before right), when all classrooms are averaged together. Though there is a substantial range in percent improvement when the classrooms are viewed individually, there is an overall improvement among most classrooms, on most themes addressed. The results of the evaluation analysis are being used to inform the emphasized themes in the curriculum, staff training and the presentation delivery methods for the Safe Routes Ambassador program. In FY 2011, an outcome evaluation as well as a behavior evaluation will be conducted to ensure the continued effectiveness of the program.


The schools which participated in the evaluation are: Brunson, Carnegie, Copernicus, Courtenay, Crown, Daley, Ellington, Farnsworth, Harte, Higgins, Irving Park, Jackson, Morgan, O’Keeffe and Rogers. All participating schools were Chicago Public Schools.

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