NAMPA, Idaho — "Students feel like they are in danger when they try to cross in the morning and after school," said Emerson Ford, fifth grade group member, Snake River Elementary.
If there's one story that will make you optimistic about the future, it might just be this one: Nampa City Council began research on the intersection of 11th Ave. North and Stampede Dr. this week, after a group of fifth graders from the nearby Snake Elementary presented concerns and solutions for pedestrian safety.
"I know I wouldn't want to be hit by a car because it'd be very painful one and it'd be very sad, so, a crosswalk makes it better," said Nevaeh Smith, fifth grade group member, Snake River Elementary.
For a class project assigned by their teachers, the group of four fifth graders-- Smith, Sierra Crandall, Taylor Horton, Ford-- aimed to find a problem in the world which they could present solutions for. While some students attempted to attack large-scope issues, the girls opted to look no further than about a hundred yards from their school's front door-- and it paid off.
Victor Rodriguez, Nampa City Councilmember, said he and his colleagues were impressed by the poised presentation (consisting of a Prezi and a three-dimentional model)-- so impressed, actually, that public works officials traveled to the intersection the very next morning to begin preliminary reviews.
"See how fast these cars are going? They're going way too fast and kids could get badly hurt," said Ford.
Crandall and Horton said they interviewed two fellow fifth grade students about the intersection.
"Hayden said it would make her feel safer if the crosswalk was there, because most of the drivers don't stop," said Crandall. Horton added, "Emma said that there should be a crosswalk because she has been put in danger as well as others crossing the road."
In addition to a crosswalk, the students proposed their perspective need for having a crossing guard for longer periods of time, as well as flashing signs alerting drivers to slow down and stop.
"I was very proud of them because they went in like 'Okay, we're gonna present, we're gonna do our best'... and they knew along the way like, 'The worst that is gonna happen is that we're told no. But that's okay because we still gave our voice and we still gave our opinion,'" said Natasha Johnson, fifth grade teacher at Snake River Elementary.
After Monday's presentation which Rodriguez said resulted in a standing ovation, he said he is now optimistic about the Nampa Public Works Department finding funding to add these protections. Mayor Kling complimented their presentation, to which one of the girls replied, "It's all because of our amazing teachers!"