CONTINUED IMPROVED SAFETY THROUGH NEW COMMUNITY ART INSTALLATION
TALLAHASSEE, FL (Apr. 18, 2023) – Students from Sabal Palm Elementary School, A Community Partnership School, join community members, professional artists Cosby Hayes and Sarah Painter, volunteers from the Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI), and community leaders to bring another Crosswalks to Classrooms asphalt art project to Tallahassee. The new installation will be on Ridgeway Street near the main entrance to the school. KCCI and the City of Tallahassee’s Crosswalks to Classrooms initiative decorates high-use crosswalks near schools with an array of bright colors and eye-catching designs while engaging students, enhancing safety, and improving the livability of streets.
“I’m happy to see how the Crosswalks to Classrooms initiative continues to gain momentum throughout our community,” said KCCI Executive Director Betsy Couch. “The way each project brings together unique partners and members of the community is beyond special and seeing folks work together to beautify their neighborhood and for the common good of increasing safety is what this is all about.”
KCCI’s Crosswalks to Classrooms initiative decorates crosswalks with colorful artwork designed by local artists and painted by students to promote community engagement and safer pedestrian crossing. Utilizing traffic patterns and crash data to identify potential sites and working in collaboration with city and county officials, KCCI engages nearby schools, neighborhoods and organizations to explore their interest and support of this unique opportunity.
“In the City of Tallahassee, we know firsthand what happens when we combine efforts to encourage creativity while also promoting safety among our youth,” said Mayor John Dailey. “We are proud to support these types of collaborative projects and applaud the people who volunteer their time and talents to make them happen.”
Similar projects have been shown to slow down traffic, increase crosswalk usage, and decrease negative interactions between cars and pedestrians, improving overall safety. The crosswalks’ colors and designs help warn drivers of an approaching school zone and to watch out for students crossing.
“As principal, I want to do everything I can to ensure our students have what they need so they can focus on their studies and be the best students possible,” said Sabal Palm Principal Shannon Davis. “This Crosswalks to Classrooms installation at our school will help get them to and from school safely and we’re just so thrilled to have this additional resource that will help us fulfill our mission. I am grateful to Superintendent Rocky Hanna and our local elected officials for their support and commitment to make this happen.”
When studying pre- and post-behavior at the artistic Crosswalks to Classrooms painted near Cobb Middle School and Kate Sullivan Elementary, recent findings from Florida State University’s research found that the crosswalk murals reduced stop sign violations by nearly 30% and increase the rate of drivers stopping before the crosswalk by 28%.
Sabal Palm Elementary, A Community Partnership School, is the fourth school in Leon County to feature Crosswalks to Classroom asphalt art. Previous sites include Kate Sullivan Elementary, Cobb Middle School, and most recently, DeSoto Trail Elementary. The Crosswalks to Classrooms near Sabal Palm Elementary, A Community Partnership School, is made possible thanks to the support and involvement of The Foundation for Leon County Schools in collaboration with KCCI, the City of Tallahassee, and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of North Florida.
“The Community Foundation of North Florida is pleased to partner with the Knight Foundation to support their efforts to invest in projects that align with their charitable goals for our community,” said Community Foundation of North Florida President & CEO Katrina Rolle, JD. “Initiatives that put the focus on bringing people together for the greater good leave a lasting impact and when they also prioritize children’s safety, it simply cannot be beat.”
Sabal Palm Elementary, A Community Partnership School brings together high-quality academics, health care, counseling, support, mentoring and more—all where students and their families are comfortable: in their own school.
“Proving memorable learning opportunities and creativity among our students is critical in ensuring they thrive, and projects such as Crosswalks to Classrooms bring those two elements together beautifully,” said Foundation for Leon County Schools Executive Director Eric Clark.
Sabal Palm Elementary, A Community Partnership School is a partnership among Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS), Florida A&M University (FAMU), FSU Primary HealthTM and Leon County School District.
Crosswalks to Classrooms is the latest of KCCI’s placemaking projects in Tallahassee. Past projects include Fully Booked Tallahassee, Art of the Box, Discovery at Cascades Park playscape, ELLAvate (the aesthetic improvements and improved seating around Lake Ella), The Frenchtown Farmers Market, the iconic TLH letters, and more. These and other KCCI projects have yielded nearly $1 billion in economic impact while fostering community involvement and engagement.
The volunteer 2023 KCCI Community Catalyst team members are Susan Aarons, Alan Amidon, Quia Atkinson, Anna-Kay Hutchison, Amina Kassem, Christina Lynch, Holly McPhail, David Powell, Fern, Senra-James, Lindsay Slautterback, and Tristan Williams.
About KCCI: Established in 2007, KCCI is a local organization committed to positive placemaking and community collaboration in Tallahassee. KCCI projects have generated nearly $1 billion in economic impact for Leon County. A new group of volunteer Community Catalysts is selected to plan and implement each annual project. KCCI is made possible by partners including: Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, VyStar Credit Union, Taproot, FAMU School of Business and Industry, FSU College of Business, NAI Talcor, Structure Real Estate, Nolia & Bill Brandt, Architects Lewis + Whitlock, Wood + Partners, Brown & Brown, BowStern Marketing, Serena & Jon Moyle, Cassidy and Company, Tharpe Construction, Flightline Group, Inc., Drs. Chaney, Couch, Callaway, Carter and Associates Family Dentistry, Charlie Johnson, Knight Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation of North Florida, and Archibald Foundation. www.KCCITallahassee.com.