2 Lawton schools get sidewalk grants - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

2 Lawton schools get sidewalk grants

Lawton_When hundreds of kids get out of school at the same time each afternoon, the last place they should be is on the busy roads. But that's the case for many Lawton school kids because of a lack of sidewalks. So, 2 schools in Lawton decided to curb the problem by applying for grants to bring sidewalks to their school neighborhoods.

  "We don't have any sidewalks that direction so it's really dangerous. Kids kind of sometimes angle up into yards, climb on trees, end up in the road," said teacher and parent Amy Gilpen. Amy's daughter Courtney, a student at Whittier, says kids do it everyday.

  Without those sidewalks, some parents are afraid to let their kids go down the street alone. "We've been here 4 years and my kids love to bike but have not been able to because I will not allow them to get in the street," said parent Jennifer Winningham. But soon Jennifer's kids will be able to. Whittier and Howell Elementary Schools will receive about $120,000 from Oklahoma's Safe Routes to School initiative to build those sidewalks.

   "It helps you know to make things a little bit safer as we walk them along the street with all the cars and traffic that goes by," said Gilpen. Whittier's Principal Brenda Hatch, says it could even teach kids a little more. "So if it's close enough to walk we want kids to learn to start walking instead of jumping in that car and driving that 2 or 3 blocks. We want them to learn its ok to walk."

  Principal Hatch said the school hopes the sidewalks will also go to places like Lawton High and McMahon Auditorium, both spots students often travel to on field trips.

  The date is not set for when construction for these sidewalks will begin. But the program director for Oklahoma Safe Routes to School says the schools have to use the funds in the next 2 years.

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