Save the date—International Walk to School Day is October 8th this year. Learn how you can get your school to participate at http://walkbiketoschool.org.
Walk to School Day started in the U.S. in 1997 as a one-day event to build awareness of the need for walkable communities. It turned into an international event in 2000.
New research from the National Center for Safe Routes to School—based on parent survey data collected by nearly 4,700 U.S. schools from 2007 to 2012—shows that more K-8 students are walking to and from school across the country.
According to the data, the percentage of K-8 children who walked to school in the morning increased from 12.4 percent to 15.7 percent (representing a 27 percent increase). Similarly, the percentage of K-8 children who walked from school in the afternoon increased from 15.8 percent to 19.7 percent (representing a 24 percent increase).
Another significant finding of this research was that the percentage of parents who reported that their child’s school supporting walking and bicycling for the school commute rose from 24.9 percent to 33 percent.
Although walking increased among students who attended low-, medium- and high-income schools, walking increased especially among students who attended low-income schools (schools where at least 75 percent of students were eligible to receive free or reduced price meals).
There was a small but statistically significant decrease in bicycling to school between 2007 and 2012, from 2.6 percent to 2.2 percent in both the morning and afternoon. And using the bus decreased significantly between 2007 and 2012. Within one mile of school, the largest shift between travel modes occurred between busing and walking, with busing decreasing significantly and walking increasing significantly.
The full report, Trends in Walking and Bicycling to School from 2007 to 2012, analyzed parent survey data collected by nearly 4,700 schools located in all states and DC from 2007 through 2012. The surveys represent more than 525,000 K-8 school children across the country.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School announced that a record number of schools participated in the 2013 Walk to School Day. Schools from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico took part, with a total of 4,447 schools pledging to walk to school on October 9th.
According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, this year’s registration topped 2012’s record total of 4,281. Many more communities celebrated Walk to School Day, but didn’t register their event.
Other interesting registration facts:
Check out which schools in Connecticut took part in the event here.
Several schools throughout Connecticut took part in Walk to School Day on October 9.
Here are some of the latest headlines and links to stories throughout the state that cover International Walk to School Day.
In Winsted students at Pearson Middle School and Hinsdale Elementary schools, in conjunction with the Winsted Branch of the YMCA too part in Walk to School Day. The students started their days off at the opposite school and walked a half-mile to their respective schools. The students were accompanied by teachers, school staff, YMCA staff and community leaders. Click here to view the article in the Register Citizen.
Latimer Land School in Simsbury celebrated Walk to School Day a week early this year. On October 2 hundreds of students, parents, teachers and community leaders came out to walk. According to Simsbury Patch, parent chaperones led walk and bike groups to the school from 11 different neighborhoods. The Simsbury Police Department also provided safety support at multiple locations. Click here to view the article in the Simsbury Patch.
Fox Run Elementary School in Norwalk took part in the festivities. Check out the video on the Norwalk version of It's Relevant.
In Clinton an estimated 275 students from Abraham Pierson School, Jared Eliot Middle School and Levin G. Joel, Jr. School walked in the town’s fourth annual Walk to School Day event. Parents, teachers, volunteers and Clinton’s State Representative Tom Vicino also took part in the festivities.
Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley and FedEx teamed up with the Griffin Hospital Valley Parish Nurse Program, the Ansonia Fire Dept., the Ansonia Police Dept. and John G. Prendergast School to promote safe walking on International Walk to School Day.
Wethersfield schools had a great turnout for Walk to School Day.
Check out the photos from the Hartford Courant's photo gallery on Wethersfield's Walk to School Day.
WFSB 3 featured Vernon’s Center Road School. View the video here. And Vernon Patch posted videos from the Vernon event here.
WTNH ran a news piece on the advantages of kids walking to school. View it here.
If you have photos from your school’s Walk to School Day, e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them on our site!
New Britain's Smith School will be debuting a "walking school bus" on Thursday. According to the Hartford Courant, several of the school's parents have volunteered to walk with groups of students to school in the morning and back home in the afternoon.
The idea behind the walk to school group is to make walking to school safer and fun, while also building a sense of community and encouraging better school attendance.
The idea of the "walking school bus" is based on similar programs throughout the U.S.
Students will gather at a pre-desingated spot (which is similar to waiting for the school bus), and then they will walk as a group to school. When school gets out the system will be in reverse.
The New Britain police department is assigning a patrol car to lead the way for the group on the Thursday morning kick-off walk.
Simsbury's Latimer Lane School kicked-off Walk/Bike to School Day earlier this year on October 2. The school had a great turnout for the event—263 students walked or biked to school That's 62% of the student body. And what is even more amazing is 90% of the school district's kids are bussed to school! Great job Latimer Lane School!
Walk to School day is this coming Wednesday (October 9). Is your children's school participating? Check here to see.
If you school doesn't already have something planned, don't worry, it is not too late to still take part in this international event!
How can you and your kids participate in the 2013 Walk to School?
1. Walk from home. This is great for students and families who live close enough to walk to school on a safe route.
How it’s done: Encourage students and their families to walk to school. They might join other families and form groups in their neighborhoods to travel to school together.
2. Walk from a designated starting point. This is great for families who live too far to walk, families with limited routes for walking, bus riders and children with disabilities.
How it’s done: Identify one or more locations where students and their families will gather to walk or bike to school together or where families can park and make their way to school when they’re ready.
3. Walk at school. This is great for families who live too far to walk, have limited routes for walking, bus riders, children with disabilities or times when few parents can participate with this children.
How it’s done: Walk at school during an assembly, recess or as part of a class activity. These events can foster a lifelong appreciation for walking nd develop important safety skills. They’re also the easiest way to include every student.
Find out more information on International Walk to School Day here.
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