WALKSacramento Celebrates International Walk to School Day!

Project coordinator Emily Alice Gerhart leads a walking school bus
at Ella Elementary in Olivehurst

On October 8, 2014, students throughout the Sacramento region participated in International Walk to School Day, joining thousands of schools in over 40 countries. WALKSacramento staff coordinated with parents, school administration, government officials, law enforcement, and partner organizations at 17 schools in the Sacramento region to promote healthy and active transportation to and from schools.  Students and parents used designated safe routes to walk to school where they earned prizes for participating.

WALKSacramento attended five Walk to School Day events throughout the week to teach pedestrian safety lessons, hand out prizes, and encourage students to make walking a part of their everyday lives. WALKSacramento was honored to have Dr. Ron Chapman, the Director of the California Department of Public Health, attend the Walk to School Day event at Thomas Edison Language Institute. Dr. Chapman walked a route with Principal Todd Lindeman and expressed the need for more active lifestyles and walking to school.

Thomas Edison Principal Todd Lindeman and California Department of Public Health Director Ron Chapman, MD

The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District brought Spare the Air mascot “Scooter” to Thomas Edison Language Institute to promote walking as an environmentally friendly alternative to driving. Students who rode their bikes to school received prizes and were fitted with helmets. Prizes such as reflective slap bracelets and fluorescent zipper tags not only served to reward active students but will help make them more visible as they continue to walk and bike to school.

At Thomas Edison and Camellia Basic Schools, WALKSacramento painted paw prints on the ground to guide students on safe routes toward the school. Other schools in Yuba County and Auburn, California used Walk to School Day as a kick-off for their weekly walking programs. Students in the programs received punch cards to tally their daily walks in order to earn more prizes. Before each walk, students were given lessons on pedestrian safety to further build on WALKSacramento’s continued effort to create a well-educated generation of walkers. For more information about International Walk to School Day, please visit the event website at http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/.

Children walk to school at Sierra Elementary in Placerville