Updated Oct. 5, 2017: Here are a few snapshots of walkers who participated in yesterday's event. Way to go, students!
Oct. 2, 2017 -- On Wednesday, Oct. 4, Millard Fillmore Elementary School will be one of thousands of schools around the globe participating in International Walk to School Day.
At last count, more than 4,300 schools had registered to take part in the event in the United States alone.
Here in Moravia, Millard Fillmore Elementary students who live within walking distance of the school are encouraged to walk to school with their parents that day, said physical education teacher Todd Mulvaney, who is organizing the Moravia event with fellow physical education teacher Scott Langtry. Those who live a bit farther away, meanwhile, can map out the safest route on the back of the flyer that’s being sent home with all elementary students today and then turn it in to Mr. Mulvaney or Mr. Langtry on Oct. 4. Those who participate with receive a free Rules of the Road Safety ruler and an apple donated by Owen Orchards.
Organized by the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the global event began in 1997 as a one-day event. Over time, this event has become part of a movement for yearround safe routes to school and a celebration – with record breaking participation – each October, according to the center’s website. Today, thousands of schools across America – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – participate every October.
Why walk? Why not!
For one, it’s good for the body. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children and adolescents get one hour or more of physical activity each day. Research suggests that physically active kids are more likely to become healthy, physically active adults, underscoring the importance of developing the habit of regular physical activity early.
It’s also good for the air. When families decide to lace up their sneakers or strap on their bike helmets to get to school instead of riding in a car, they help reduce the amount of air pollutants emitted by automobiles.
Here are some tips about child pedestrian safety from the National Center for Safe Routes to School:
Younger children should always walk with an adult. Tell your parents that walking is great exercise and a nice way to spend time together.
If your parents say that you can walk to school on your own, remember these tips:
Walk with a friend when possible.
Ask your parents to help you pick a safe route to school; one that avoids dangers.
Stick to the route you picked with your parents. Don’t let friends talk you into shortcuts that are more dangerous.
When you are near the street, don’t push, shove, or chase each other.
Never hitchhike or take rides from people not arranged by your parents.
Talk to your parents and teacher about any bullying that may happen during your walk.
Remember, drivers may not be able to see you well. Always wear bright-colored clothes and if it is dark or hard to see, carry flashlights or wear reflective gear.
Look for traffic
Watch out for cars and trucks at every driveway and intersection on your walk to school. Look for drivers in parked cars. They may be getting ready to move.
Cross the street safely
Stop at the curb or edge of the street.
Look left, right, left and behind you and in front of you for traffic.
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.
Obey traffic signs, signals and adult school crossing guards