Thanks to the efforts of one energetic parent, Ira B. Jones Elementary School in Asheville, N.C., has been participating in International Walk to School Day for a number of years. Since the event's inception in 2004, the event has evolved from a yearly event to a biannual event and then to a monthly "Walking and Wheeling" or "Strive Not to Drive" event.
More than 250 students in grades kindergarten through fifth attend Polk Elementary School in Baton Rouge, La. In 2007, Polk Elementary was the target school of the Walk this Way program, which focuses on a different school within the Baton Rouge school district each year.
Wilmette, Illinois, is a town near Chicago with a population of 28,000 people. With the combined efforts of its Bicycle Task Force and the local law enforcement, Wilmette implemented a strong encouragement program for bicycling around the town and to and from school.
Safe Kids Tucson, through the Tucson Medical Center in Pima County, AZ, recently was awarded $40,790 in federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funds to set up SRTS pedestrian and bicycle safety education and encouragement programs at seven schools in the county. These schools are Bloom Elementary School, Johnson Primary School, Lawrence Intermediate School, Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary School, Whitmore Elementary School, Keeling Elementary School and Davis Primary Magnet School.
A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. This tip sheet developed by the National Center for Safe Routes to School offers the basics of getting a Walking School Bus off the ground by either starting small or developing a more established program.
The focus of the Safe Routes to School Program is to make the routes to school safer for children to walk and bicycle. In the context of 'stranger danger' and sex offenders, potential solutions for creating safer routes include having parents, guardians or responsible adults walk or bicycle with their children to school; working closely with local law enforcement officials; and equipping children with the personal safety skills to minimize risks.
Physical activity is important for the health of all children. Including children with disabilities in the International Walk to School event is fun and easy. National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) offer some helpful tips to make this event a success for everyone.