Student club’s crosswalk safety system takes hold

<p>A group of Enterprise Elementary children take advantage of the Enterprise FCCLA's Adopt a Crosswalk Program to cross the street safely. The girl in the lead carries the only flag that’s needed for an entire group to cross. A survey of students found that 52 percent of them had talked to their parents about the visibility-enhancing flags.</p>

An “Adopt a Crosswalk Program” instigated by Enterprise FCCLA members Hannah Schaafsma and Katelyn Curtis at the beginning of the school year has been a winner in promoting safety.

The two girls reported to the Enterprise City Council about their project at the Feb. 11 council meeting.

“So far it has been very successful,” Curtis said.

The project involved the two girls placing bright orange flags in buckets at three different crosswalks on major routes to and from school for the use of elementary children crossing the street.

The FCCLA members taught the youngsters to take a flag out of a bucket, which are mounted on a crossing sign, and holding the flag above their head as they cross the street. They then place the flag back in another bucket mounted on the other side of the street.

When children are in groups, only one child carries a flag.

These flags enhance the visibility of children crossing the street so they can safely go to and from school. Of course, the youngsters are also instructed to continue to look both ways before crossing.

The two FCCLA members recently provided a survey of 200 elementary students, with 94 percent of the survey forms returned.

The survey results, reported to the council, revealed that more than 50 percent of those responding had used the flags, 27 percent had used the flags while leading younger children across and 52 percent had talked to their parents about the flags.

The survey showed that 42 percent of the respondents walked to school, while 48 percent got a ride and 10 percent took a bus.

The crosswalk flag sites are on River Street, the highway by the baseball field and the north end of the playground.

Councilor Larry Christman noted that crosswalk danger has been an issue discussed in the past. “There was a lot of communication between the school and the city, with no cooperation until we got the FCCLA involved,” he said.

The FCCLA expressed gratitude to Wallowa County Grain Growers, Wallowa County Nursery and the late Doug Terry for donations of materials for the project.

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