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.