Safe Routes to School



QuickStart Mini-grants are $1,000 reimbursement grants designed to get your Safe Routes to School program going and build momentum. They can be used to fund a range of activities that encourage safe walking and bicycling to school. Please keep the following in mind as you prepare your application.

  • Proposed Mini-grant activities must advance the purpose of Safe Routes to School, which is to encourage or enable students to safely walk or bicycle to school—Activities that don’t advance this purpose cannot be funded, e.g., activities that promote physical activity but don’t encourage walking or biking to school or don’t include pedestrian or bicycle safety education.

  • Proposed Mini-grant actives should reach the broadest possible audience within the school community—Activities that exclusively target a fraction of the school community (e.g., a class or club) are generally discouraged; however, activities may target a smaller group if they also include outreach to the broader school community. Use this opportunity to build excitement for walking and biking!

  • Consider involving students in activity identification and planning—Students have great ideas and often a good sense of what will resonate with their peers. Involving students in event planning also gives them valuable leadership experience. 

  • Think creatively—We value creative ideas for encouraging safe walking and bicycling to school.

  • Spend the full amount—Your application should include a budget that meets or exceeds $1,000.

  • Put your best foot forward!We often receive more QuickStart Mini-grant applications than we have grants to award. In these cases, we will prioritize school beneficiaries that have not been awarded a QuickStart Mini-grant in the past year and applications that:
    • Support the purpose of SRTS, which is to encourage and enable students, including students with disabilities, to safely walk and bicycle to school.
    • Provide sufficient detail for us to clearly understand the activities that are proposed and how mini-grant funding would be used to support those activities.
    • Provide a compelling description of how they will leverage the QuickStart Mini-grant to build a sustainable SRTS program.  
    • Indicate concrete steps that will be taken to ensure that students with disabilities can fully participate.

Check out our QuickStart Mini-grant Learn it. Do it. Live it. for additional application tips. 


 Online Application – Click here to apply for a QuickStart Mini-grant. 

Preview the application here.


Important Dates

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis but are reviewed after the dates listed below. It can take up to 3 weeks after the due date to receive the award. Please keep this timeline in mind when applying. 

To be eligible for reimbursement, grant activities must be completed within 90 days of the award.

 Fall 2023

 Spring 2024

August 24

September 28

March 7

April 4


Who can apply for QuickStart Mini-grants?

Eligible applicants include:

  • Elementary or middle schools

  • Adult-supervised elementary or middle school groups or clubs;

  • Faculty, staff, or parent volunteers at elementary or middle schools;

  • Local governments;

  • Tribal governments; and/or

  • Community-based or private non-profit organizations that will work with a school to improve safety and/or increase the number of children who safely walk or bicycle to school.


  1. Schools may benefit from a maximum of one QuickStart Mini-grant per grant cycle. There are two grant cycles per year: the fall grant cycle (August through October) and the spring grant cycle (February through April). Preference will be given to schools that have not benefitted from a QuickStart mini-grant in the previous two grant cycles

  2. In some cases, schools that have been included in a VDOT SRTS Program Grant may not be eligible for a QuickStart Mini-grant due to a maximum funding limit of $5,000 per school per school year. In most cases, this limit is not a factor. Please contact if you have questions about the funding limit or wish to confirm your school's eligibility. Otherwise, ineligible schools will be notified of their status upon submitting an application. 


What can be purchased with QuickStart Mini-grants?

Below are examples of items that can and cannot be purchased according to federal regulations. Please note that these lists are not exhaustive. Because of the small award size, these restrictions differ slightly from those associated with the typical VDOT SRTS grants. If you have questions about funding eligibility for specific activities or items, please email


Not Allowable

  • Promotional materials*

  • Educational materials*

  • Safety items (e.g., reflective vests and bands, bicycle helmets, bicycle lights)

  • Bicycle racks

  • Bicycles that benefit groups of students

  • Bicycle rentals

  • Non-electric scooters
  • Digital camera rental

  • Video camera rental

  • Helmet camera rental

  • Professional services (e.g., safety trainers)

  • Food and refreshments

  • Staff salaries

  • Stipends for volunteers

  • Installation-related costs (e.g., labor costs for installing a bike rack)
  • Fund-raising activities

  • Gift cards

  • Contests, prizes

  • Bicycles for specific individuals

  • Digital camera purchase

  • Video camera purchase

  • Helmet camera purchase

  • Skateboard or electric scooter related costs (equipment, racks, or installation)

* Modest-cost promotional/educational materials with the broadest reach are more likely to be competitive in the application process.


Need some ideas?  Click here. Also, check out this e-blast for ideas on how to use QuickStart Mini-grants beyond the school classroom.

What can I purchase with $1,000?  Click here for a list with the per item price ranges for commonly purchased items.


QuickStart Mini-grant Recipients to Date

The Virginia SRTS Program has awarded over 500 QuickStart Mini-grants since the program began in the fall 2012. The map and table below shows the schools benefiting from QuickStart Mini-grants. Click on a marker on the map to see the school and brief description of the activities funded with the grant.

View SRTS Mini-Grant Beneficiaries in a larger map 

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2023