Raytown middle school student doing her part to create a safer walk to school

RAYTOWN, Mo. – One middle school student from Raytown wants to keep kids safe, and she’s using the civic process by asking elected officials to do something about it.

Dangerous things can happen in high-traffic areas. That’s why Olivia Moore, an eighth-grade student from Raytown Central Middle School, came up with the ideas of extending sidewalks near the school on 59th Street. As it stands, kids are walking in the streets as they make their way home from school.

Moore, 14, says she’s seen too many near misses outside her school. Her sidewalk extension idea is part of a class project.

The stretch of 59th Street near Raytown Central Middle School is busy with cars, and kids who walk to and from school dodge oncoming cars on one side, and a big ditch that lines the street on the other. The present sidewalk stops at the edge of the school parking lot. Moore wants to see it continue to the east along 59th Street.

“I don't want anybody not to be safe. There shouldn't be a chance of anyone getting hit by a car,” Moore told FOX 4 News.

Moore got involved in the project through her school's Genius Hour, a portion of her honors English class that encourages students to explore their passions.

“Sometimes, I have to walk home and I don't like walking in the street because it's dangerous,” Moore said.

Moore says she's seen close calls as drivers sometimes blow past the school. The posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour. Many drivers ignore the posted restrictions.

“You don't know if they're going to drive really fast,” Moore said, while commenting she sees many drivers texting as they cruise through the school zone.

That's when Moore began contacting Raytown Mayor Mike McDonough, asking him to fund a public works project to fill in the ditches, and pour new sidewalks.

“I've always loved helping people. My mom says I'm a good people person,” Moore said.

“Olivia really shows a lot of passion in a lot of different avenues,” Amy Mogharbel, Raytown Central Middle School English teacher, said. “She cares about everyone she meets. She's noticed this is a problem for some of her peers, and this is something she wanted to fix.”

Tom Cole, spokesperson for the Raytown Mayor's office, told FOX 4 News the city will begin accepting bids for the project to extend the sidewalks next March. He says public officials are impressed by Moore's industrious nature.