Claymont Elementary School was awarded the first part of a three-stage grant, which will total $390,000 over three years, to help make the community more walker-friendly.
The first part of the Safe Routes to School grant, a $130,000 award, was announced by Brandywine School District Superintendent Mark Holodick, at the Nov. 15 school board meeting.
Safe Routes to School is an organization that offers community leaders, schools and parents across the United States a chance to improve safety and encourage children to safely walk and bicycle to school.
"It's going to be great for the students and families in their commute to school," Dr. Holodick said. "It's something that's going to be of huge benefit to the current students who are at the school, and for current generations."
The school is working with the Claymont Renaissance group, the Community Center, DelDOT and other organizations to support this initiative, Dr. Holodick said.
Over the next two years, Claymont Elementary will receive a total of $390,000 or $130,000 per year for infrastructure and planning costs, Principal Jim Grant said.
The infrastructure funding could allow for things like modifications to curbs or the purchase of new signage, Grant said, as well as more bike racks at the school. And the funding for planning could be used to hire an architect, he said.
Although the funds are intended to improve the school's routes, Grant said the existing pathways are not dangerous.
“We are not in an unsafe situation. But [the grant] will make it better," said Grant.
The project will also contribute to the resurgence of the community, he said.
"This is in light with the Claymont Renaissance," he said. "It gives us a lot of positive publicity [with the residents of Darley Greene.]"
Nonetheless, the district is proud to be a part of this project, he said.
"Anything we can do to encourage kids to walk to school or ride bikes safely...we're all for it."