West Seattle schools: More safety $ for Highland Park Elementary

That half-minute video clip represents the first time we’ve ever seen a uniformed Seattle Police officer demonstrate jump-rope moves. (Even after 30-plus years in the news business, there still are some firsts!)

But we’re getting ahead of the story.

SPD Community Outreach Officer Tomeka Williams was one of the visitors for a special assembly at Highland Park Elementary this afternoon, teaching about pedestrian safety and helping celebrate a new grant to make it a reality:

Right before the assembly, we photographed HP principal Ben Ostrom with SAFE Kids Seattle‘s Dr. Brian Johnston from Harborview Medical Center (bet you guessed that he’s the guy in the white coat!). The check says $25,000, and that’s being added to a different $75,000 grant. Pedestrian safety is REALLY important there because, among other things, the school has multiple arterials nearby – among them, Barton and Trenton. That’s why, besides jumping rope, Officer Williams offered advice including using the “stare face” to make sure a driver sees you, before you walk into the street:

Safety is part of the HPARK slogan through which the principal led his students:

The safety skills will be practiced with “Walking School Bus” events each Wednesday morning next month.

By the way – though she’s not in our visuals and tried to stay “behind the scenes,” it must be noted that one of the people instrumental in making all this happen is Highland Park Elementary parent Rachael Wright, who’s been working on pedestrian-safety issues surrounding the school, and getting grants to address them, in connection with a wide variety of groups and agencies. Congratulations!

6 Replies to "West Seattle schools: More safety $ for Highland Park Elementary"

  • Harry Reems April 25, 2012 (7:43 pm)

    The jumproping exhibition was awesome!

  • homedk April 25, 2012 (8:29 pm)

    Awesome! Is SPD Community Outreach Officer Tomeka Williams from the SW Precinct or was she visiting?

    • WSB April 26, 2012 (12:14 am)

      HDK – I don’t know if she is based out of a particular precinct or central HQ. She was listed on the SPD website as part of the Community Outreach Team, like the officers who are usually part of the team for the “living room conversations” (the one we covered at Block Watch Captain JoDean’s house in Arbor Heights recently had one Community Outreach Team member, based somewhere outside WS, and two officers plus one sergeant from the SW Precinct, for example) …

  • Christie April 26, 2012 (9:00 am)

    Rachael Wrgiht is an awesome parent – i have worked with her on this project and her dedication to the school and her community is awesome! – Way to go Rachael

  • Rachael April 26, 2012 (11:29 am)

    Thank you so much to the West Seattle Blog for their amazing coverage of this event! I wished to clarify that while I submitted an application for Highland Park to be the school that ‘benefits’ from the Safe Kids Seattle/Fed Ex grant, and agreed to be part of the HP team of volunteers which helps coordinate aspects of the grant on site. (HP Head Teacher, Mrs. Njoku and Principal Ostrom are lead members of this team).

    The Safe Kids/ Fed Ex grant was actually written by the former Coordinator of Safe Kids Seattle, Lorena Kaplan. She deserves full credit for her wonderful work in obtaining these funds!

    Again, Thank you to the Blog for the excellent coverage!

  • BlairJ April 26, 2012 (12:22 pm)

    This is good news.
    Some drivers seem to cruise along Trenton Street (the one that goes in front of the school) between 9th & 16th like it was an arterial. (It’s NOT.) Even the traffic circle at 12th doesn’t seem to slow them down much.
    And crossing 9th, especially at Henderson, can be a dangerous gamble.
    $100k is a good start, but I’m afraid it will take even more to make a real difference in pedestrian safety around the school.

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