The Safety Ambassadors program was developed in 2007 by the Mid-America Regional Council and partner organizations to provide consistency in youth pedestrian and bicycling safety education across the region. With the advent of the federal Safe Routes to School initiative and increased public emphasis on physical activity for young people, this program serves a vital role in providing safety information, education and training to residents of the greater Kansas City area.
The Safety Ambassadors program recognizes that the best way to teach children proper safety practices is to engage community members who have a proven commitment to building a better environment for walking and bicycling. This initiative draws on the knowledge of individuals and other partners to create a forum for promoting safety issues in our communities.
Safety Ambassador Activity Report Form (pdf)
Jointly funded through a grant from the Destination Safe Coalition and Kansas Safe Routes to School program, Safety Ambassadors train and equip volunteers from a range of backgrounds including law enforcement, emergency response, health and fitness, public service, and education.These individuals work with schools and communities to educate children on how to be responsible pedestrians and bicyclists.
Ambassadors receive specialized training from instructors who have years of experience and a wealth of professional knowledge. These individuals work with schools and communities to educate children on how to be responsible pedestrians and bicyclists, providing them with fundamental safety skills.
A growing need for Safety Ambassadors
Safe Routes to School uses a four-pronged approach (Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Encouragement) to create safe routes to school for pedestrians and bicycle riders. The popularity of this program is creating the need for trained volunteers that will help schools and communities with educational activities such as safety fairs and bike rodeos.
Previously, coordinators and trainers at safety-related events have been self-taught, and no formalized network existed for sharing experiences or lessons learned. The Safety Ambassadors program endeavors to provide standardized training for course instructors and to connect organizations interested in hosting activities and events with available ambassadors.
Since the program began:
Over 100 Safety Ambassadors have been trained.
Safety Ambassadors regularly conduct safety education sessions at regional community events.
Over 1,000 children have learned safe bicycle and pedestrian practices from Safety Ambassadors
Over 800 helmets were given to children as part of lessons on proper fitting techniques