Georgia Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School Program Celebrated The International Walk to School Day October 8, 2008.

Celebration for the International Walk to School Day got moving on Wednesday, October 8, 2008. In the U.S., International Walk to School Day is expected to include 5,000 schools from all 50 states. Over 38 Georgia schools joined with other U.S. children and adults, including participants from 40 countries around the world. The month-long event allowed communities flexibility in organizing their Walk to School events.

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is an international movement that began in the 1970’s in Denmark and quickly spread to the United States in the 1990’s and is now a worldwide phenomenon. The purpose of SRTS programs is to encourage kids to walk and bike to school, and to improve safety in the vicinity of schools.

 

Various schools in Georgia had “fun-tastic” activities planned for participants. Listed below are several Georgia schools who sponsored walk-n-roll events:

DEKALB COUNTY, GA—Knollwood Elementary School in South DeKalb had more than 200 students will walk to school on Wednesday, October 8th, along with parents, teachers and community leaders. County Commissioner Larry Johnson, State Representative Stephanie Stuckey Benfield and an officer from the DeKalb County Police Department were the featured speakers.

AUGUSTA, GA—Fort Gordon Base Housing’s Freedom Park School had more than 700 students and families to participate in its walk to school event. Members of the 447th Battalion sang cadence to help the children to Freedom Park School.

COLUMBUS, GA—Club View Elementary School got moving October 8, 2008, starting at 7:30 A.M. Event planners had 250+ participants to attend. The event will end with a pep rally.

Fewer than 15 percent of all school trips are made by walking or bicycling, one-quarter are made on a school bus, and over half of all children arrive at school in private automobiles. This decline in walking and bicycling has had an adverse effect on traffic congestion and air quality around schools, as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety. Research has shown that 25% of morning traffic is parents driving their students to school.

Walk to school events work to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment, and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.