By: Lanetra Bennett
October 9, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - School children are often taught to walk in a buddy system. Wednesday, kids in Tallahassee had plenty of company. They joined students from around the world in walking to school together.
The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round...
But, this bus has feet.
Students from Florida High made up the "Walking School Bus."
Fourth grader Megan Kelly says, "I like that my friends come and you can walk and talk."
Wednesday, was International Walk to School Day.
About 75 elementary school kids, parents, teachers, and community leaders met at Southwood's Town Center in Tallahassee at 7 a.m., and made the some 20-minute walk to school together.
"Walk to School Day" raises awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasizes the importance of issues such as pedestrian safety and increasing physical activity among children.
Kasey Chapin, Florida High's 'Walking School Bus' Coordinator, says, "The importance of getting out and getting energized in the morning. You do better on your school work; you get to socialize with your friends; you get to hang out with your teachers outside of school."
Chapin says walking to school also reduces traffic congestion around the school and helps the environment.
Fourth grader Dazia Evans says, "I usually just drive the car with my papa and my mommy."
Of course, Dazia doesn't actually do the driving. But, after the fun she had walking to school Wednesday, she may ditch the car ride altogether.
DeSoto Trail Elementary in Leon County also participated in 'International Walk to School Day.'
More than 35 countries observed the event. This was Florida High's fourth year doing the 'walking school bus.'
Press Release: Walk To School Day
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida State University Schools (FSUS) in Tallahassee will join schools from around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day on October 9, 2013.
Approximately 75 students from FSUS, also known as Florida High, will be walking to school Wednesday along with parents, teachers and community leaders. Mayor John Marks and his wife Jane, Tallahassee City Commissioner Gil Ziffer, Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier, members of the Tallahassee Fire Department, and employees of the Florida State Department of Transportation will join us walking to school. FSU Campus Police will escort our walking school bus.
The event will begin at 7 a.m. with kids, parents and community leaders walking from SouthWood’s Town Center. Walkers will meet in the parking lot behind The Wharf restaurant and Twinkle Toes nail salon and depart from Town Center at 7:30 a.m. and arrive at the school at 7:50am. Other special activities associated with the walk include free coffee from Subway, warm-up stretches led by Jane Marks, and an elementary classroom participation challenge.
Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need 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 and concern for the environment. The events build connections between families, schools and the broader community.
The event is being organized by Florida State University School Parent Teacher Student Association (FSUS PTSA) as part of its Health and Safety Committee and the Safe Routes to School program.
For additional local information, please contact Kasey Chapin at (850) 591-8776.
For additional information, please visit these websites:
Florida State University School PTSA
Walk to School Day in the USA www.walkbiketoschool.org
National Center for Safe Routes to School www.saferoutesinfo.org
International Walk to School Day
About International Walk to School Day
• Walk to School Day was established in the United States in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America. Canada and Great Britain already had walk to school programs in place. In 2000, these three countries joined together to create International Walk to School Day.
• In May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School was established to assist communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school.
• The National Center for Safe Routes to School serves as the national coordinating agency for Walk to School activities in the United States.
• Walk to School Day began as a simple idea – children and parents, school and local officials walking to school together on a designated day. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the simple joy of walking to school, the health benefits of regular daily activity, and the need for safe places to walk and bike. Schools focus on health, safety, physical activity and concern for the environment.
• Organizations supporting International Walk to School Day in the United States include America Walks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Highway Administration, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Safe Kids Worldwide, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.