International Walk To School Week A Huge Success!
Marin County Safe Routes to Schools is pleased to report one of our best International Walk to School Weeks ever, as children and parents Countywide joined kids from 36 countries around the globe, in walking and biking to school. It is exciting to know that the Marin County Safe Routes program is serving as a model for what will some day be in place throughout the nation. We are happy to report that participation was at an all time high this year, with more special events than ever, and swelling support from school officials, law enforcement, and local government.
We were pleased to see County Supervisor Susan Adams and Dixie School Board President Damon Connelly both in attendance at Dixie School (in the Dixie School District,) and City Council-member Pat Eklund on hand at Lynwood Elementary (in the Novato School District.) Many schools even had police escorts and neighborhood fire departments helping out on Wednesday, October 5 - International Walk To School Day.
The fun part of this job for the Safe Routes crew is making Walk to School Week festive, and this year we did that in a few different ways. Some schools were pleased to host Melanie and Jason for the Yikes Assembly and (new for this year) Yikes 2! Several schools enjoyed decorating their halls with banners and signs, after participating in Safety Art classes, and some schools got primed with Bike Rodeos. Also, at each participating school, on the morning of International Walk to School Day, there were tables with prizes and snacks for students who walked or biked to school.
The staff of Safe Routes to Schools wishes to thank Clif Bar, and every other organization that donated snacks and prizes for I-Walk. We also appreciate all of the local media who helped get the word out, and the school administrators for their enthusiastic support. And finally, we need to “give it up” for the many volunteer parents and Team Leaders at each participating school for their creativity, enthusiasm, and plain old hard work. Of course, without these dedicated volunteers there would be no Walk& Roll to School days, no International Walk to School week.
Everyone involved will agree that the biggest reward for all of this hard work is the bright smiling faces of children throughout the community, as they walk and ride their bikes to school – with their parents, or in groups with their friends.
Throughout the region, children got to experience stress-free travel to school by foot power, arriving in classrooms refreshed and alert, and ready to learn! In some schools, kids walk to school every day, but for many, I-Walk truly was an introduction to something special, and we hope something that they will want to incorporate into their everyday lifestyles!