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Published February 23, 2012, 04:50 PM

Grand Forks Students Bringing About Pedestrian Safety Awareness

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Middle school students are doing what they can to make it safe for pedestrians around their school.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Middle school students are doing what they can to make it safe for pedestrians around their school.

Whether it's the crosswalk, school parking lot or kids crossing mid-block, pedestrian safety is now being addressed at Schroeder Middle School thanks to a grant.

When the school bell rings,there's a rush of kids out the doors. Whether they get picked up, take the bus or walk home, many cross the street.

"They don't really think they're unsafe but they are they just don't know it and so they just do what they always do so we want to change that," 11-year-old Kacy Jiran said.

Jiran is part of a group with "Safe Kids Grand Forks", helping bring about pedestrian safety awareness. Safe Kids applied for and received a $3,000 grant called "photo-voice" to help with safety issues. Jiran wants students to know what they should do to stay safe.

"You shouldn't cross mid-block, find a meeting place with parents so they always pick you up in the same spot, you should know who's picking you up," Jiran said.

"The part the kids are most empowered to do is get the message out and that message is going out to their fellow students," Safe Kids Grand Forks Coordinator Carma Hanson said.

The students took pictures of unsafe areas that may be dangerous or need to be improved, designed displays for parent-teacher conferences and designed brochures to hand out.

"We put together a group of 6th, 7th and 8th graders who this fall did photos of kids as they were leaving school and then we're meeting with them to come up with strategies," Hanson said.

Students like Jiran hope their message also reaches beyond school walls, so everyone stays safe.

"We just want to get the message out to drivers that they'll slow down and watch for kids and not park over crosswalks," Jiran said.

Grand Forks was one of a handful of communities to receive this grant.

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