To promote health, wellness and physical activity with children and families throughout the country, the entire month of October has been designated as International Walk to School Day with varying days of celebration by various groups and or communities. On the morning of October 11, some 147 students (participating students were given backpacks, reflectors and bags from the sponsor) and their families from Manatee Academy K8 School participated in the third annual International Walk to School Day sponsored and promoted regionally by the South Florida Commuter Services. Participants walked from nearby McChesney Park to the school. The one -day event is part of an international effort to encourage more families to enjoy the many benefits of safely walking and bicycling to school.
Students, parents and community members in every state d emonstrate the role walking and bicycling to school can play in improving health, safety and community life. Walk to School Day event with school children carrying colorful signs Schools and communities are bringing a level of excitement and commitment to the event that the founders could only have dreamed of back in 1997 when Walk to School Day began with a single school. Since then, Walk to School Day participation has grown every year, with the 4,281 events registered through www.walkbiketoschool.org in 2012, setting another record. Around the world, at least 40 countries celebrate International Walk to School Day and Month.
Comments on Walk to School Day:
“There is no better way to encourage students and their families to engage in a lifetime of healthy activities than giving them the experience of walking and biking to school,” said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, which serves as the coordinating agency for the event. “Walk to School Day is often the first step in motivating children to make safe, healthy choices.”
“As a parent, I know how important it is that all children have the ability to get to school safely, whether they walk, bike or take the school bus,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx. “Thanks to the National Center for Safe Routes to School and many other wonderful local, state, and national organizations, more and more families are learning that walking is an option, a choice I hope they continue to use throughout October and the rest of the school year.”
“Not only does Walk to School Day teach children about pedestrian safety, it also allows them to experience a different and healthy way to get to school,” said FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez. “I’m proud to support the thousands of parents, children and communities celebrating Walk to School Day.”
REF: Lucie Links Newsletter (SLCSD) Oct. 2013