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According to a Safe Routes National Partnership blog, two communities that are finding success with shared use agreements are the Cumberland Valley in Kentucky and Los Angeles, California (48.5% Latino).
Shared use agreements are formal agreements that keep school playgrounds open to the public, during non-school hours. With access to green space, playground equipment, and fitness trails, through a shared use agreement, kids and their families can be more active.
Because Latino kids often live in low-income neighborhoods that lack safe places to play, and because they have fewer opportunities to stay active after school hours, it’s important for community partners to find ways to enter shared use agreements with local schools, churches, and recreational centers.
In South Los Angeles, with support from a CDC-funded Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and community partners have selected 18 schools where they plan to implement shared use agreements.
“We want our children to be academically successful, and research shows that active children learn better,” Mikaela Randolph, Shared Use Campaign Manager for the Safe Routes National Partnership said.
In Kentucky, four counties including, Bell County, Clay County, Knox County and Jackson County have made progress with establishing formal shared use agreements that will open a scenic cross-country trail, outdoor tracks, and a softball field to the community.
To help communities overcome the challenges that come with developing, enacting and implementing a shared use agreement, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership has created a shared use clearinghouse, to serve as a resource for parents, teachers, students administrators, policymakers or anyone wishing to establish a shared use agreement at their school .