Longfellow Elementary School has participated in Walk to School Day for more than ten years and just joined Safe Routes to School.
Lincoln Elementary School is in Mount Vernon, Wash., a small city in a rural county. Many of the roads surrounding the school are suitable for walking, but until the introduction of a Healthy School pilot program in 2006, not many students were encouraged to walk to school.
Because of its rural setting, Longview Elementary School and the Moses Lake community faced unique issues surrounding child safety and safer walking programs. A small number of students walk to school, and residents were concerned with the safety of the two main roads leading up to the school’s entrance. Parents and teachers and members of the Parent Teachers Association voiced concerns about safety conditions on the roads and took the initiative to work with the community in finding solutions.
In 1995, the Auburn School District linked concerns about the high cost of transportation and increased childhood obesity to create cooperation that has led to 20 percent of its district’s students walking to school.
“The key to our program is the partnership,” said Jim Denton, Director of Transportation for the Auburn School District in Auburn, WA, for 12 years.