Time to lace up – or velcro depending on age – for Triangle area students: today marks the beginning of International Walk to School Month. October is not just the time when the State Fair comes to town, it’s also a time for parents, educators, students, police and PTAs to partner up to encourage students to safely walk or bike to school.
Walking or biking to school isn’t something that just happens in most cases – it’s a combination of safety education and community partners. Luckily, there are resources to help debunk myths and provide the materials needed to support the programming as well as support from Triangle area schools.
You can find materials to review, pass along, or start an active commute with your school here:
– Carrboro will be celebrating Walk/Bike to School Day on Wed. Oct. 6th.
– Look for updated info from Durham and Chapel Hill coming soon
Earlier this year, Durant Middle School students in Wake County faced an unfortunate tragedy. Their response and goal is to develop a long term Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program that incorporates the basic elements of SRTS. The key is improving the safety of students already walking to school. This will be supported by strategies and activities incorporating student leadership and creativity in the areas of – Awareness, Education and Data Collection. Today, October 1, students will participate in a 2 hour WalkSmart BikeSmart Safety Fair that will be conducted in partnership with The City of Raleigh, Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh Police Department and SRTS Volunteers. The fair consists of 11 different stations that will teach students various bicycle and pedestrian skills.
Remember, our children are our future – and right now the trend that is predicted for this generation is obesity, type 2 diabetes and an early grave. Fortunately, they also look to parents, teachers and other community servants as role models, and they want to mimic what we do. So start forming healthy habits now. And if walking or biking to school just isn’t an option for your household, try changing other short trips – to the grocery store, library, community park or a friend’s house. In the long run, these little changes can make a difference in the quality of your child’s life.
Two recent studies have found that walking to school is associated with higher overall physical activity throughout the day. There are many potential benefits of physical activity for youth including:
- Weight and blood pressure control
- Bone, muscle, and joint health and maintenance
- Reduction in the risk of diabetes
- Improved psychological welfare
- Better academic performance
So get up and get a move on! The weather has cooled down and it looks like the rain is giving us a break to get out doors and enjoy ourselves.