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Safe Kids Walk to School

September 27, 2011

FIVE SCHOOLS JOIN SAFE KIDS of OTSEGO COUNTY to WALK ON INTERNATIONAL WALK to SCHOOL DAY

More than 250,000 Students Across the U.S. to Participate

Safe Kids of Otsego County will host five local schools on Wednesday, Oct. 5 to raise awareness about pedestrian safety on International Walk to School Day. More than 250,000 children across the United States and nearly three million around the world will participate in the annual event to learn about walking safely and to encourage the creation of safe walking environments. Otsego County Elementary Schools participating include Center Street, Greater Plains and Valleyview, all in Oneonta, Otego and Richfield Springs.

“On International Walk to School Day, parents and caregivers both teach and model safe pedestrian behavior,” said Rich McCaffery, a Community Educator with Bassett Healthcare Network and Safe Kids Safe Kids of Otsego County. “International Walk to School Day is the perfect opportunity for students to learn how to remain injury-free as they walk to and from school.”

In celebration of International Walk to School Day, Safe Kids USA is hosting a photo contest on Facebook. The winning images will be those that best represent children walking to school safely. The school that submits the winning photo will receive a $5,000 prize and a visit from Sesame Street’s Grover. The prize money will be spent to further encourage students to walk to school or for the purchase of educational materials that benefit the general student body.

Over a million people worldwide die on roads every year according to the World Health Organization. In May, the United Nations launched the Decade of Action for Road Safety to bring attention to this global epidemic. In the United States (US), according to the National Center for Health Statistics, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages 3 to 14. While the number of child pedestrians injured in traffic crashes are decreasing in the U.S., in 2009, more than 13,000 children, ages 14 and under went to the emergency room and 244 children died from pedestrian-related injuries.

In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities. This year will mark the twelfth anniversary of the program and 189 Safe Kids coalitions and 400 schools across the country will hold more than 1000 local events at elementary schools to teach children how to walk safely and recognize pedestrian dangers.

“FedEx has developed highly advanced safe driving practices over the past 35-plus years, but we are committed to doing more. We helped create the Safe Kids Walk This Way program because we are dedicated to improving child pedestrian safety,” said Rose Flenorl, Manager of FedEx Global Citizenship. “Our team members work hand-in-hand with Safe Kids of Otsego County to teach children how to stay safer when they walk. Safe Kids of Otsego County does a wonderful job in our community and we look forward to supporting them as they make walking safer for everyone.”

About Safe Kids of Otsego County
Safe Kids works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids of Otsego County was founded in 2000 and is led by Bassett Healthcare Network.

About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp<http://www.news.fedex.com/>. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $39 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 290,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com<http://www.news.fedex.com/>.

About The Global Decade of Action for Road Safety
Thousands of people are killed or injured in road crashes each day, and it is projected that annual road traffic deaths will increase to 1.9 million people by 2020. To help bring needed attention to this dire issue, the United National General Assembly has declared a Decade of Action<http://www.who.int/roadsafety/decade_of_action/plan/en/> to stabilize and ultimately reduce the projected forecast of road traffic deaths and injuries worldwide by 2020.

For more information contact Rich McCaffery, Commuity Educator at richard.mccffery<https://ews.bassett.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=d4474d19fd0b422d81a100dfcbe0f7d3&URL=mailto%3arichard.mccffery%40bassett.org> or 547-5256.

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