Students Across City Walk and Roll to School
International Walk (and Roll) to School Day brings together hundreds of kids, parents, city officials and Safe Routes to Schools advocates.
By Jim Welte, Mill Valley Patch
October 7, 2010
Aidan O'Reilly of Park School celebrates International Walk and Roll to School Day Wednesday. Credit: Willow Older
Hundreds of students walked and bicycled to school Wednesday morning as part of International Walk (and Roll) to School Day in what turned out to be a celebration of what city and school officials said is becoming more and more common in Mill Valley. The children were joined and cheered on by a host of parents, city and school officials, Safe Routes to Schools and bicycle advocates.
"This is just like an extra Christmas for me - I just love this day," said Mill Valley Mayor Stephanie Moulton-Peters, who serves as the chairperson for the Safe Routes to Schools Task Force. "All of our schools have really made great strides in getting kids to walk or bicycle to school."
Moulton-Peters was among the people who greeted the students arriving at Park School Wednesday, while City Councilman Andy Berman joined old Mill School students and Maureen Parton, aide to Supervisor Charles McGlashan joined Strawberry Point students.
Molly de Vries, the Old Mill team leader for Safe Routes to Schools, agreed, noting that Old Mill students have made Walk to School Wednesday a tradition at the school for the past year.
"It was so much fun today," she said. "And we raised the awareness of the community to slow down and watch for those kids walking and riding to school – and get off your cell phones!"
Two Mill Valley schools, Edna Maguire and Tam Valley, piloted the Safe Routes to Schools program 10 years ago, according to Deborah Coile, the co-chair of the Safe Routes task force.
In August, Old Mill took first place and a cash award of $1,000 in the Safe Routes to School program's first annual Green Ways to School awards. Tam Valley placed second and will receive a $250 award.
The awards were based on the number of so-called "green trips" to school, and Old Mill increased its "green trips" by 38 percent since 2003.
Paul Carroll, the team leader for Tam Valley, said the level of organization and support gets better every year for this event.
"If you guide them, they will come," he said.