Thousands of kids around the U.S. participated in Walk to School events this month, which is International Walk to School Month. Now in its thirteenth year, more than 3,200 U.S. schools registered to participate in events that provide a great opportunity for schools to promote good health as they engage families and the community.
In Little Falls, New York, students, teachers, staff, and city officials walked almost 1.5 miles to Little Falls Middle School on October 8. This marked the third year the school participated in the world-wide Walk to School Day event.
“This event allows us to be part of something a little bigger than ourselves,” said Bart Tooley, principal at the school. “It’s an opportunity for us to come together as an entire school and have a little fun on a beautiful October morning,” he told the Little Falls Times.
“Walking to school not only allows us to focus on being healthy and well, but it also allows us to get out and enjoy the community while forming lasting memories,” added Superintendent of Schools Louis Patrei. (read more…)
At Wilcoxson Elementary School in Stratford, Connecticut, more than half the students participated in a special event that kicked off Walk to School Month. “It’s a perfect way to build community,” Principal Deborah Dayo told the Connecticut Post. Even kids who ride the bus to school were able to participate this year. When they were dropped off by the bus, they started a 3-1/2 lap walk around the school's athletic field. (read more…)
In Mississippi, the school that engages the highest level of participation in Walk to School events earns the state’s highest award, the coveted Golden Sneaker. The day also offers an opportunity for parents to join with their children in a school-sponsored activity, crossing guard Mary Lee Montgomery told the Mobile Press-Register. (read more…)
Students at Pilot Mountain (North Carolina) Elementary School earned stickers this year for walking to school on Walk to School Day. This is an important event “because it not only teaches pedestrian safety, but also the importance of choosing healthy activities instead of sedentary behavior,” Principal Angela Carson told the Mount Airy News. (read more…)
Students who walk to school in Needham, Massachusetts, can also log their miles on the Earth 25 Web site as part of the community’s Needham in Motion campaign.
And students and parents joined together to turn a walk to Blessed Sacrament School in Savannah, Georgia, into a community event. The WSAV-TV video below is a testament to Walk to School events that took place in hundreds of U.S. communities this year.
ORGANIZE A ‘WALK TO SCHOOL’ DAY FOR YOUR SCHOOL
If you and your students didn’t participate in this year’s Walk to School Day/Month events, this is the perfect time to start planning for next year. Take a quick look at some of the resources available at the link below. I’m sure you’ll see how easy it would be to gather a group of parents to spearhead a cool event that will build community as it creates wonderful memories for students, families, and staff at your school.
International Walk to School in the USA
This U.S. Walk to School site provides links to tips for starting a Walk to School Day event as well as tons of ideas for promoting the walk, planning special events and classroom activities, involving sponsors, and more. The next Walk to School Day is scheduled for October 5, 2011.