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Community comes together to highlight need for sidewalks

Jacksonville elementary school principal concerned for students

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Members of the Tallyrand community say students and teachers who walk to Long Branch Elementary School are being put at risk because the area doesn't have sidewalks.

More than a dozen people have been killed so far this year walking along Jacksonville roads. 

The American Heart Association partnered with other local agencies, like the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, to host a school safety day to bring awareness to the dangerous situation for children like Willie Holmes.

"When I walk across the street, I have to look both ways,” Holmes said. “When I walk across, it's just grass, so I just have to stay on the side of the grass and keep walking."

Community leaders came together Friday to emphasize the serious message of staying safe on the street with fun and games for students.

"Having to walk to school within 2 miles and there not being sidewalks, it's set up for disaster,” said April Seliga, campaign coordinator with the AHA.

Long Branch Elementary School Principal Alecia Clayton said she's voiced her concerns to City Council about the need for more sidewalks in the community, and she hopes the council members take action soon for her students.

"Many of them have to walk through the busy roads,” Clayton said. “It's very unsafe, and I'm concerned."