KCCI AND SABAL PALM ELEMENTARY PARTNER FOR EXPANDED ART INSTALLATION
TALLAHASSEE, FL (Sept. 23, 2023) – Students from Sabal Palm Elementary School, A Community Partnership School, joined Sabal Palm 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 its neighborhood. The three new crosswalks and center intersection are located at the cross of Eisenhower Street and Ridgeway Street and are the feature of the 2023 Placemaking Week. 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.
“This expanded project at Sabal Palm is part of KCCI’s 5th Annual Placemaking Week and this year’s project marks KCCI’s 17th year of strengthening Tallahassee’s identity through placemaking projects that help drive economic vitality and bring community members together,” said KCCI Executive Director Betsy Couch. “We are proud of the efforts of our catalysts year after year in implementing sense of place projects that not only help attract and retain creative individuals, young professionals and college graduates, but unite the community.”
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.
“We are proud to support collaborative initiatives like Crosswalks to Classrooms and we thank the people who volunteer their time and talents to make them happen throughout the City of Tallahassee,” said Mayor John Dailey. “Projects that bring people together and beautify our communities at the same time are ones that can make us all proud.”
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. 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%.
“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. “With more than 80 students walking to school daily, Crosswalks to Classrooms helps students get to and from school safely, and I am grateful to Superintendent Rocky Hanna, KCCI, our local elected officials, and the sponsors who made this possible.”
Previous Crosswalks to Classrooms sites include Kate Sullivan Elementary, Cobb Middle School, DeSoto Trail Elementary, and FAMU DRS. The Crosswalks to Classrooms near Sabal Palm Elementary, A Community Partnership School, is made possible thanks to the support and involvement of Capital City Bank, ServisFirst Bank, KCCI and the City of Tallahassee.
“Capital City Bank is proud to partner with KCCI to support these efforts and to invest in projects we believe contribute to building a strong community,” said Beth Corum, Chief Operating Officer, Capital City Bank. “The mission of the Capital City Bank Foundation is to enhance the quality of life in the communities where we do business, 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. It is a partnership among Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS), Florida A&M University (FAMU), FSU Primary Health™ and Leon County School District.
Crosswalks to Classrooms is the latest of KCCI’s placemaking projects in Tallahassee. Past projects include the iconic TLH letters, 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, 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.
To apply to be a KCCI Catalyst for 2024, visit KCCITallahassee.com in the “Get Involved” section.
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.