About Wakefield CAP
Friday, December 2, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Walkers held up colorfully decorated “Happy International Walk to School Day!” and “It’s Cool to Walk to School!” signs. Once at the school, students were given a big cheer and a wave of pom-poms by Principal Beth Yando and teachers Anne Corbett, Alyce Jordan, Kristin Collins and Paula Curley. Next, participants signed a poster with the help of teachers Andrea Cosentino, Suzie Harte and Leslie Roberto, and teacher Jennifer Gallant handed out blue “Safe Routes to School” shoe lace tags as a prize. The Golden Sneaker Award goes to Mrs. Livesey’s first grade class for having the most walkers, 22 total. Coming in second was Mrs. Cosentino’s third grade class with 20 walkers, and Mrs. Uva’s third grade class took third place with 19 total walkers.
Ahead of the event, PE teacher Maria Caruso encouraged students to participate and gave out “Stop. Look. Listen” bookmarks with safe walking tips. Art teacher Frank Marino assisted with promotion by giving the students pictures of sneakers to colorfully decorate and hang in the school entrance.
This event helped families experience the many benefits of walking to school, including the simple joy of walking, energizing the day, focusing better in school, socializing with friends and neighbors, saving money on gas, avoiding traffic jams and helping the environment. Visit www.iwalktoschool.org, www.walktoschool.org, www.saferoutesinfo.org, www.commute.com/schools and www.wakefieldcap.org for more information.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Celebrate International Walk to School Day Oct. 5
Wakefield elementary schools will be joining schools around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 5. The Dolbeare, Greenwood, Walton and Woodville elementary schools—all partners with MassRIDES—will put their individual touches on the event, plus give out prizes to participating students.
International Walk to School Day is based on a simple idea—children and parents, school and local officials walking to school together on a designated day. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the simple joy of walking to school, the health benefits of regular daily activity, and the need for safe places to walk and bike. Schools focus on health, safety, physical activity and concern for the environment.
MassRIDES states in their website (www.commute.com/schools): “In 1969, roughly 48% of students bicycled or walked to school. Today only 13% of children do so. And, travel to school can account for up to 25% of all morning traffic. That's why we work with schools like yours, to teach and inspire children to start walking and bicycling more often—to and from school, improving their physical health, safety, and community.
“The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program promotes healthy alternatives for children and parents in their travel to and from school. It educates students, parents and community members on the value of walking and bicycling for travel to and from school.”
The opportunity to receive free incentive prizes, guidance and numerous resources was made possible by partnering with MassRIDES to run a Safe Routes to School Program. The Dolbeare Elementary School partnered with MassRIDES, along with Wakefield Climate Action Project and Wakefield’s School Health Leadership Team to pilot a Safe Routes to School Walking School Bus program in fall 2008. The program proved quite successful—in 2009 it garnered media attention at the local and national levels, including the Boston Globe, Fox 25 News, and Good Morning America. In 2009 and 2010 the Greenwood, Woodville and Walton elementary schools joined the effort and partnered with MassRIDES to roll out programs at their schools.
Please join the International Walk to School Day celebration on October 5 by safely walking or biking to school that day. You may find you enjoy it so much you will want to walk and bike all year long.
WHAT IS A “WALKING” SCHOOL BUS?
A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults, following a fixed route and stopping to pick up students at set times along the way. It is like a carpool—without the car.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A WALKING SCHOOL BUS?
- Avoid traffic jams, save gas and help the environment
- Increase safety at the school (less cars)
- Safe and fun way to get exercise
- Help kids focus better in school
- Talk and connect with your child(ren) and neighbors
- Great way to get you going in the morning!
DOES DOLBEARE CURRENTLY HAVE A WALKING SCHOOL BUS?
Yes, we do! The Wakefield Climate Action Project and School Health Leadership Team have partnered with MassRIDES for this effort. Ideally three parents lead the group, with one being an alternate in case one of the lead parents cannot make it. Currently there is one bus called the “Lowell St. Bus.”
Lowell Street Bus:
Streets currently included are Wharton Park, Thorndike Street, Heritage Lane and Lowell St. Contact Sherri Carlson, 781-246-2106; firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Powers, 781-224-0403 if you would like to join the bus. Following are the Lowell Street bus stops and route:
8:12 a.m. – Start at 21 Wharton Park
8:20 a.m. – Thorndike and Lowell Street
8:25 a.m. – 2 Heritage Lane and Lowell Street
8:30 a.m. - End at Dolbeare School
Parents can walk or drive their children to one of the stops along the way and join the walk or hand off their child(ren) to the leaders. Leaders are CORI checked and parents must agree to Ground Rules and fill out permission slips (visit www.wakefield.k12.ma.us and click on Dolbeare’s “Walking School Bus” link). More stops can be added as people join.
MORE LEADERS NEEDED!
If you enjoy morning walks, good company and avoiding traffic jams, and are willing to lead a bus in your neighborhood, please contact Sherri Carlson at email@example.com or (781) 246-2106.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Successful Walk & Bike to School Day Celebration at Dolbeare
There was a wonderful turnout at the Dolbeare Elementary School for their Massachusetts Walk and Bicycle to School Day celebration on May 9, 2011. The weather was perfect after a postponement due to predicted rain (which never materialized), and hundreds of children, parents, dogs and even a hamster joined the celebration. Approximately 265 students turned out for the event.
Participating students were greeted at the Dolbeare by pom-pom waving teachers/cheerleaders and were handed Safe Routes to School stickers and bracelets. The students then signed a poster under their teacher’s name to win an award. The Golden Sneaker Award for most participants goes to Kathy Uva’s third grade class.
A large amount of teachers and staff pitched in to help, including teachers Jennifer Gallant, Erica (Nigro) Bibo, JoAnne Kenny, Ann Corbett, Paula Curley, Suzie Harte, Andrea Cosentino, Deb Lacey, Perry Pappas, Denise Yasi and Carol Willet, nurse Susan Siebeking and custodian Ken Malonson. Art teacher Frank Marino helped make the poster, and PE teacher/facilitator Maria Caruso, parent/Walking School Bus Coordinator Sherri Carlson, Principal Beth Yando and MassRIDES School Outreach Coordinator Anna Isaacson helped plan and execute the event. The event potentially inspired people to walk or bike to school daily instead of driving.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Celebrate Massachusetts Walk & Bike to School Day
The Dolbeare and Walton Elementary Schools will be celebrating Massachusetts Walk and Bike to School Day on Tuesday, May 3 (Walton’s rain date is May 4; Dolbeare’s is May 9). The Woodville Elementary School put a unique twist on the event and will hold a series of “Woodville Walk to School Days” on April 29, May 20 and June 17. The events are in conjunction with the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program.
Safe Routes to School is designed to address pressing transportation and public health issues. Many adults over the age of 30 remember enjoying walking and bicycling home from school: chatting with friends; taking a shortcut across a field; stopping at a friend’s house or the library; inspecting bugs; sloshing through puddles. But today it’s different.
In 1969, roughly 48% of students bicycled or walked to school. Today less than 15% of children walk or bicycle to classes. Nationally, 19% of children age 6-11 years are overweight, more than triple the percentages from 1969. In Massachusetts, almost one-third of high school and middle school students are overweight or obese. And in some communities, school-related traffic can contribute up to 25 percent of morning rush hour traffic volumes, as well as significant air pollution.
The Massachusetts Safe Routes to Schools program can help change this. It promotes walking and bicycling to school, which helps reduce air pollution, fuel consumption and traffic congestion, while increasing the health, safety, and physical activity of elementary and middle school students. It also helps build connections between families, schools and the broader community.
Massachusetts established the Commonwealth’s Walk and Bike to School Day in 2007. Since then, partner schools have conducted over 600 walking and bicycling events to celebrate Walk and Bike to School Day. Over 380 elementary and middle schools across the state collaborate with MassRIDES, the state’s travel options service under the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, on the Safe Routes to School program to organize activities and events which encourage students to walk and bicycle to school.
The Dolbeare Elementary School partnered with MassRIDES, along with Wakefield Climate Action Project and Wakefield’s School Health Leadership Team to pilot a Safe Routes to School Walking School Bus program in fall 2008. The program proved quite successful—in 2009 it garnered media attention at the local and national levels, including the Boston Globe, Fox 25 News, and Good Morning America. Last year the Greenwood, Woodville and Walton Elementary Schools joined the effort and have partnered with MassRIDES to roll out walking programs at their schools. (The Greenwood celebrates International Walk to School Day in the fall.)
Please join the Massachusetts Walk and Bike to School Day celebration by safely walking or biking to school. You may find you enjoy it so much you will want to walk and bike all year long.
WALKING SCHOOL BUS BACK IN ACTION!
Finally, FINALLY winter is over, the weather is better and the Dolbeare Walking School Bus program is up and running again. We will walk rain or shine, unless the temperature is below 32F or the weather is severe.
Currently we have one formal bus, the “Lowell Street” bus. Come join us and enjoy the nice weather, chat with friends, get energized, save gas and help the environment—simply by walking to school! If you are interested in joining this bus or starting one in your neighborhood, please contact Sherri Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-246-2106. For further information visit www.wakefield.k12.ma.us and click on the Dolbeare’s “Walking School Bus” link.