Join students, families, school leaders, community partners and mayors around the country Oct. 4 to celebrate the benefits of walking to school during International Walk to School Day. Plus, the weather has been beautiful lately, it’s hard not to be outside!
Safe Kids Marinette County and The Greater Marinette-Menominee YMCA are excited to be partnering this year to be able to provide Walk to School Day events at Garfield, Park, Merryman and Central elementary schools and Blesch Intermediate School. Students are encouraged to walk to school with their parents, teachers and community leaders. Other activities are also being planned to make walking to school extra fun and safe. Even though events may not be planned at other schools, students are still encouraged to walk to school.
Walk to School Day events emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment and to raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling. The events also build connections between families, schools and the broader community. Walk to School Day events can also be the building blocks to establish routine walking routes to school.
Walking to school is fun, but students need to be safe while doing it. Please review these tips with your children to make sure they get to and from school safely:
¦ Younger children should always walk with an adult.
¦ If a child can walk to school on their own, they should walk with a friend when possible.
¦ Parents should pick a safe route to school for their children to walk.
¦ Children should not push, shove or chase each other near a street.
¦ Children should never take rides from people that are not arranged by their parents.
¦ Children should always wear bright-colored clothes.
¦ Teach children to look out for vehicles at driveways, intersections and parked cars that may be getting ready to move.
¦ Remind children to obey traffic signs, signals and crossing guards.
To cross a street safely, children should:
¦ Stop at the edge of the street.
¦ Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing.
¦ Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing.
¦ Walk, don’t run across the street.
For additional information on International Walk to School Day, please visit: www.walkbiketoschool.org. Your child’s school should be sending a letter home with them this week! If you live too far away, or drive your child to school, this letter will inform you how to still participate and meet up with staff and students to walk together.
Allyson Bickel, Community Engagement, can be reached at the Greater Marinette-Menominee YMCA.