HUDSON – Mulready Elementary School physical education teacher Dan Fahey began adding curriculum from the state Safe Routes to School program to his second grade classes about five years ago after he attended a training session.
This year, he created a pedestrian safety video for students, which helped the school win recognition as an exemplary program from Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT).
“It’s a huge honor,” Fahey said. “It’s a huge honor for our school and for the town of Hudson.”
The award was presented by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation early last month.
Mulready was one of just four schools from around the state honored with exemplary status.
Program promotes pedestrian, bike safety
The Safe Routes to Schools program is designed to improve safe biking and walking for elementary and middle school students.
Other districts throughout the region have discussed their own Safe Routes to Schools programming and efforts.
Speaking about Mulready and Hudson, Rachel O’Donnell, a Safe Routes to Schools outreach coordinator, said that the school has been an active partner for many years, registering for all of the program’s major events in different seasons.
Mulready runs Walk to School days
Mulready organizes three Walk to School days every year. Those take place in October, February and May.
Between 100 to 150 students, families and staff generally participate in each event.
Fahey said he had the idea to separately create a safety video based on the Safe Routes to School’s curriculum. So, he reached out to the Hudson Police Department and the town’s HUDTV cable access station for help.
The resulting video goes over the importance of bright-colored clothes for pedestrians. It advises pedestrians to stay in groups, noting good places to walk on the sidewalk and informing adults when walking outside.
“He took the reins on this one and he created a short video that showcased Mulready students practicing sidewalk safety, crosswalk safety and parking lot safety,” O’Donnell said of Fahey’s recent work.
Walk to School days earn broad support
Now taking place as Fahey’s video is shared, Walk to School days have received support from families, staff and the Hudson Police Department, whose building serves as a meeting point for those ready to make the short walk to the nearby Mulready School.
Fahey spoke on the importance of Walk to School days, noting how they encourage people to go outside and exercise.
Plus, they’re important for the environment and cut down on cars’ emissions, he said.
“It’s just a fun way to do it and a great way to be with your family,” Fahey said.
See the pedestrian safety video Fahey helped create here.