At the beginning of the school year, Middleton High School students gathered in the school’s auditorium for a WalkWise Tampa Bay presentation, to learn about ways to safely walk or bike to and from school. The high school is located just off Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa, a busy corridor that many Middleton students must cross to get to class. New crosswalks with pedestrian-activated beacons were installed along the corridor last summer. This marks the third academic year that Middleton has hosted the WalkWise Tampa Bay program.
Assemblies take place all day, divided by grade level, starting with the freshman. The students were given clickers and quizzed on walking and bicycle safety laws and behaviors. Safety tips and information on the new crosswalks were reviewed, and the assemblies all end with the WalkWise safety pledge. This year, WalkWise Tampa Bay presenter Brentin Mosher led a call-and-response version of the pledge. “I pledge to WalkWise!” he shouted. The students shouted back in response, kicking off the school year with a promise to follow the laws, practice the safety tips, and to tell their peers to do the same when traveling to and from school.
WalkWise Tampa Bay is managed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research and funded by District 7 of the Florida Department of Transportation.