The National Center for Safe Routes to School has designated Wednesday October 9, 2013, as Walk to School Day. This event not only promotes healthy students by incorporating activity into their daily commute to school, but also encourages Safe Routes to School through traffic safety awareness.
Ultimately we want to see more kids getting to school under their own power and also less car traffic directly around schools. It's a win-win, and in Tacoma we're planning to make school zones even safer.
Our elementary school is participating in this national event for the first time. We signed up with Safe Routes to School and they sent us several boxes of fruit snacks (courtesy of ClifBar), a huge banner, reflective stickers and handouts highlighting safe school commuting tips. We're hosting a tent before and after school to handout swag and talk to parents. Students who walk or bike to school get to sign the “I Walked” banner, which will later be displayed in the cafeteria.
For biking students, we will also have DIY fenders available after school so we can keep our young cyclists dry and clean through the rainy months ahead. Drop-off & Valet pick-up students are encouraged to park a few blocks away and walk the rest of the way to school with their parents.
If you're thinking about promoting biking and walking at your school, check out the resources at Walk.Bike.Schools! - a parent network in Seattle that has had tremendous success promoting active school commutes.