It’s a relatively new term, but an age-old practice. We’re talking about an organized and/or intentional walk to school, often called “A Walking School Bus”. The term makes it a fun and an intriguing idea for youth who live within walking distance of school and who have a safe route. The idea encourages kids use their feet as primary transportation.
In a recent SHIP (Statewide Health Improvement Program) newsletter, the Albany Area School District in MN was highlighted for their walking programs. They graciously shared their story with BLEND.
“Albany Area Schools began conversations in May with the county/city regarding Safe Routes to School (SRTS). The group has been concentrating on the pathways within one mile of the school grounds. Students who walk/bike to school receive
punches on their “frequent walk/biker” cards. When the punch cards are completed, they can be redeemed for a prize. The district also has started a walking program for students before school and during recess timeframes. Students are encouraged
to talk and walk on the metered track. The momentum to be physically active has grown in the schools. The SRTS project includes efforts by parents, schools, community leaders and local, state and federal government to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk or bicycle to school. SRTS programs examine the conditions around schools, conduct projects and activities that work to improve safety, accessibility and reduce traffic and air pollution in school areas. As a result, these programs help make biking and walking to school safer and a more appealing transportation choice thus encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age. For more information about SRTS please visit http://www.dot.state.mn.us/saferoutes/.”
We’re pleased to share this inspiring story with you. If you know of a similar program you’d like to share with us, please leave a comment below.