READING GIRL SCOUTS hosted their annual Skating Day at the Burbank Arena on Monday. The event is run by Ambassador Troop 73712, which consists of Juniors at RMHS who are currently working on their Gold Awards. Any profits generated by the event will benefit each of their Gold Award Projects as well as the Reading Service Unit. Shown at right are (l-r) Becky O'Connor, Daisy Connors, Sarah Pinkham, and Kayla Donovan, all 11 years old and members of Pack # 71303.

Bill Ryerson photo

READING - The final steps in the creation of a new safe route to school will be celebrated in town tomorrow.

On Thursday, January 24, at 3 p.m., in the Walter S. Parker Middle School auditorium, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) representatives will join officials from the Town of Reading, school administrators and parents for a ribbon cutting and student presentation to celebrate the completion of pedestrian access and safety improvements surrounding the W.S. Parker Middle School campus at 45 Temple Street.

The project was made possible by MassDOT using federal Safe Routes to School program funds.

W.S. Parker Middle School is a Partner in MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School program. Currently serving over 575 elementary and middle schools in 165 communities throughout the Commonwealth, Safe Routes School Partners receive year-round pedestrian and bicycle safety education instruction as well as engagement initiatives tailored to meet each school’s physical fitness, safety and environmental priorities.

MassDOT’s engineers constructed several hundred feet of new sidewalk and buffers along Washington Street, between Woburn and Prescott Streets.

The project also includes 650 feet of new sidewalk along Sunnyside Avenue, between Prescott Street and Fairview Avenue, new ADA accessible wheelchair ramps, pavement markings, traffic and pedestrian warning signs and minor drainage modifications.

The new and enhanced infrastructure project improves pedestrian access and safety within the school zone and supports the community’s participation in the Safe Routes to School program.

Parker Middle School students have also participated in the new Massachusetts Safe Routes to School PhotoVoice initiative and presented their personal experiences walking and biking to school.

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