INTERNATIONAL WALK TO SCHOOL DAY
OCTOBER 2, 2002
29 Marin County Schools Set to Participate
Wednesday, October 2nd is International Walk to School Day. Students from 29 schools in Marin County are now set to join millions of children from at least 26 countries who will be walking and biking to school for this world-wide event. Children, their families and neighbors will be walking for their health, for the health and safety of their communities, and for the fun of it (See www.cawalktoschool.com).
Safe Routes to Schools, a program of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, is organizing events in schools across Marin. Teams of parents and students are designating "staging areas" where students who live far from school can gather and join neighborhood children for "walking school buses" and "bike trains" to school. There will be banners and signs, balloons and treats for participants. The event transforms the journey to school into a joyous occasion, reducing traffic for one day and recapturing the days when children flooded the streets every morning.
Marin's Safe Routes to Schools program is a national model, recognized for its huge success in shifting children from cars to feet. Last year, 38% of the students at participating schools were walking and biking to school; up from 21% when the program began just two years ago. The Marin County Congestion Management Agency has determined that 21% of morning traffic is parents driving their children to school. In addition, there are alarming statistics on the increase in child obesity due to poor diet and lack of exercise. This increases their risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
The 29 schools in Marin County that are now planning events for October 2nd include:
- Fairfax: Manor and St. Rita's
- Mill Valley: Edna Maguire, Tam Valley, Old Mill, Mt Tamalpais and Marin Horizon
- San Rafael: Vallecito, Dixie, Gallinas, Glenwood, and Bahia Vista
- San Anselmo: Brookside Schools, Wade Thomas, and St. Anselms
- Tiburon: Bel Aire, Reed, Del Mar, and St. Hilary.
- Ross: Ross School
- Larkspur: Neil Cummins, and St. Patrick's
- Kentfield: Bacich, and Kent Middle School
- West Marin: Bolinas/Stinson
- Novato: Pleasant Valley, Sinaloa and San Jose Middle
Additional schools in Marin County can still get involved in this event by calling Wendi Kallins, Safe Routes to Schools Program Director at (415) 488-4101. More schools are signing up each day.
Safe Routes to Schools is an international initiative that encourages children to walk and bike to school by combining education, incentives, community organizing and engineering improvements. The Marin Safe Routes to Schools program (www.saferoutestoschools.org) is a program of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, under contract with the City of San Rafael, representing the cities and county of Marin, with funding provided the Marin County Congestion Management Agency, the Marin Community Foundation, and private donation.