February 24, 2021
The Transportation Agency for Monterey County unveiled their “Play To Learn Kits” for families at their board meeting this morning. The kits funded primarily by the Measure X Safe Routes to School program will be distributed throughout Monterey County in the coming weeks.
Debbie Hale, Executive Director of TAMC said the “Play To Learn Kits” were developed as a way to continue providing traffic safety education to Monterey County youth who are remote learning due to COVID-19 restrictions. She went on to say that “this project is a perfect example of how innovation and collaboration comes together in a fun and engaging way to continue our Safe Routes School program objectives.”
TAMC partnered with Monterey County Youth Museum (MY Museum) and Cal State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in October to design the kits which will be distributed across Monterey County to 2,500 families through local school districts, Monterey County Office of Education, local non-profit organizations, and the Monterey County Health Department.
They will be given to families who have few resources to provide their children with educational activities outside of school, special needs students, and families in quarantine. Blue Zones Project Monterey County provided funding to produce an additional 400 kits which they will give to families at Los Padres Elementary School in Salinas, the first Blue Zones approved school in Monterey County!
With MY Museum closed due to the pandemic since March 2020, Lauren Cohen, their executive director said, “This project has been the perfect opportunity for the museum to fulfill our mission of providing the power of play to families.” She further stated that, “It was such a pleasure working with TAMC and CSUMB in 2018 on our interactive traveling exhibit, MY Town, and we were thrilled to be able to come together again to teach families such an important education life lesson through play.”
Tiffany DiTullio, Executive Director of Blue Zones Project Monterey County, a well-being initiative that collaborates with community partners to transform the health of our community, added, “One of our organization’s goal is to align with local initiatives to support new pathways so we can all safely walk, bike, and explore new ways to navigate where we live, learn, work and play. Moving naturally, safely, through our community means we have a healthier community.”
The bilingual English & Spanish language “Play To Learn Kits” are designed to be portable, educational, and engaging to children grades TK-5, but can be enjoyed by the entire family. Included in the kit are:
- Activity Book:Top Street Safety RulesNative Species coloring pagesNeighborhood Scavenger HuntBuild your city - road signs and roundaboutCreative ideas to decorate your bicycleFinish the safety comicChalk your Walk
- Child-size adjustable face mask
- Wooden car craft kit
- Make your own road tape
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Native Species Playing Cards
The Native Species playing cards were designed by a team of CSUMB students. The cards will teach youth about endangered and unique flora and fauna of Monterey County while they play the matching game. The cards include a QR code providing a direct link to the TAMC Habitat Mitigation website so students can take a deeper dive and learn about more species and how to protect them. Student Aya Cabero helped design and illustrate the Activity Book.
Students who don't get a Play To Learn Kit will be able to download and print the free Activity Book from the brand-new Safe Routes To School Website: saferoutesmonterey.org . The digital Activity Book will be distributed to School Districts and Schools as well as safe routes to school partner organizations to broaden the project's reach and impact. Links to the Activity Book on the Safe Routes to School Website will also be posted on the Safe Routes to School Facebook page and Instagram account.
For more information, about the “Play to Learn Kits” or the Safe Routes to School Program, contact Ariana Green, Senior Transportation Planner, TAMC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831- 775-4403.
“The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) is responsible for investing in regional transportation projects for Monterey County residents, businesses and visitors. The mission of TAMC is to develop and maintain a multimodal transportation system that enhances mobility, safety, access, environment quality and economic activities in Monterey County. For more information visit www.tamcmonterey.org or call 831.775.0903.”
Blue Zones Project Monterey County (BZPMC) is a community-wide well-being improvement initiative to help make healthy choices easier for everyone in our community. For more information visit