Mayors say thanks to kids asking for healthier communities



Over the summer, kids in area Boys & Girls Clubs learned healthy habits, pedestrian safety, what to look for in a healthy community and how to speak out for change. They used The Walking Detective workbooks to score their neighborhoods for walkability and to write letters to their mayors.  

Two of those mayors replied and let kids know their voices matter. Read their letters below! 

Michelle Dake, KC Healthy Kids’ youth initiatives director, walked the kids through lessons using our Champions for Health and Walking Detective materials. Wyandotte, Olathe, Hawthorn and Independence Boys and Girls Clubs participated.

“It was great to get to explore with the kids. They are the experts on their neighborhoods and their city leaders and I really enjoy hearing their insights,” Michelle said. 

The Walking Detective activity is also a great tool for helping students think through their submission to the Champions for Health photo contest. They could win up to $2,500 for a project they want to do to make their school or community a healthier place.

To find out more about the Champions for Health photo contest or The Walking Detective, email Michelle Dake.


Dear students,

Wow! What an incredible job you did investigating the walkability of our great city. You are all such great detectives! Maybe one day you can be detectives at the Olathe Police Department? Or work on building our streets and sidewalks in the Olathe Public Works Department! We would be so lucky to have you.

Here in Olathe we are privileged to live in such a great city. Not only are our sidewalks safe and clean, but we have great neighborhoods, awesome schools, and a safe, diverse, thriving, and welcoming community. I am so fortunate to be able to raise my kids here. I hope you feel lucky to live here as well! It has been my honor to help shape this great community over the past 18 years as your Mayor.

But I know there are always ways we can make our city even better! I am going to share the great information you gathered with my team, to see what we can improve. Thank you all so much for your hard work! And thank you for being a part of our community.

I hope you had a wonderful summer, and good luck on the upcoming school year!

Mayor Michael Copeland
City of Olathe, Kansas

July 29, 2019
Dear Ms. Dake:

Thank you for sending the results of the Walking Detective Program that your students recently completed in the Hawthorne neighborhood. As someone who enjoys being out-of-doors and visiting different parts of the city, I know first-hand how much a person can learn about their community by walking.

I appreciate the students’ feedback on what is working well in the area and where improvements are needed. The City Council and I have spent a lot of time recently evaluating the Hawthorne neighborhood to make it safer and easier for people to walk to school and work. 

Please thank your students for helping me out and letting me know about the problems we need to fix. I also appreciate them telling me about the good things they saw during their walks.

Mayor Eileen N. Weir
City of Independence, Missouri

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