In many parts of the world, children have difficulty traveling to and from school due to collapsed bridges or flooded paths, sometimes having to ride rafts in order to access education.
In some areas of D.C., schoolchildren often encounter different but no less dangerous obstacles, having to navigate trouble and violence in order to make it to school and back home safely.
Confronting this issue head-on, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined volunteers at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Congress Heights at the end of the school day on Friday, June 8 to create a safe passage for students.
Congress Heights is one of the six priority areas where District officials, community members and school leaders partnered with the Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Transportation to address student safety issues.
“The Safe Passage program is about building a safer, stronger D.C. by working together as a community to keep our young people safe,” Bowser said. “When our students feel safe and supported, they can focus on what they need to be focused on: school.”
After walking from the elementary school to Democracy Prep Congress Heights Public Charter School with volunteers, residents and supporters, Bowser cut the ribbon for the charter school’s expansion project.
The 20,000-square-foot expansion includes 13 classrooms and a gymnasium and will house the middle school while the elementary school utilizes the existing space.
Democracy Prep Public Charter School was recognized last week as the elementary school with the most improved attendance.
Students will enter the new expansion at the start of the 2018-19 school.