Elementary school project leads to new sidewalks

Teachers, elementary students team up to create proposal for county officials

By Clay LePard - Reporter

CLERMONT, Fla. - It doesn't take an engineer to lay the groundwork for some new infrastructure. In fact, you don't even need to be in middle school.

Elementary school students and teachers at Pine Ridge Elementary teamed up for a school project back in 2015 to figure out a safe way for them to walk to and from school. Without any existing sidewalks, they came up with a solution and proposed it to Lake County officials.

With a new school year underway, those students are seeing the results, as work continues to put in those new walkways surrounding the school.

"Anytime we can get students involved in a real-world experience, and ones that can effect changes like this project is effecting with safe access for our students, it's an ideal learning situation," said Principal Laine Obando.

Kevin Van Scoyk is the father of one of those students.

"We're excited for him," he explained. "He was excited to be involved in it, it really became dear to his heart."
Van Scoyk's daughter will now be able to enjoy the walkway during her time in elementary school.

Some of the sidewalks are already done; you can tell by the smiles on some parents' and students' faces.

"It's fantastic," said Sabrina Terneus. "I think the school should ask the kids for help more often,because they are the ones that go through it every day. Obviously who better to come up with solutions than those who have to work through the problems."

So far, the school already has 25 more walkers this year, with several stretches of sidewalk still to be completed.

The principal hopes to have a "Walk to school day" once all the sidewalks are completed in December.

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