This spring, WALKSacramento hosted a Video Voice project for the Thomas Edison Leadership team with teacher Hillary Hartwell, and Communication Specialist for the San Juan Unified School District, Daniel Thigpen. In a Video Voice, students discuss their community’s strengths or weaknesses through film. Thomas Edison’s project highlights student concerns related to the built environment around the school.
The project gave students the opportunity to identify a problem, analyze it, and suggest improvements. The Leadership team chose to focus on the lack of safe and accessible infrastructure for walking and biking. The lack of safe streets directly affects almost 25% of students who walk or bike to and from school, as well as many members of the surrounding community.
To deliver their message through film, students created storyboards and film scripts. They also participated in National Bike to School Day on May 7th and used the opportunity to film their classmates as they commuted to school. They noted the infrastructure barriers to safe walking and biking on Hurley Way and offered insight into some of the changes that could make the street safer for walking and biking. Examples include posting signage that alerts motorists that they are entering a school zone, and adding sidewalks to protect pedestrians from bicycle and vehicular traffic. Their video will help WALKSacramento work with the school administration and other community stakeholders to improve safety and accessibility for walking and biking.