Walk to School Day 2015
Walk to School Day has become a regular event in Takoma Park. Each year on the first Wednesday of October, students, parents and school staff hit the streets together. This year, on October 7, Takoma Park, Piney Branch, East Silver Spring and Rolling Terrace Elementary Schools and Takoma Park Middle School will host events to encourage walking on Walk to School Day and every day. Check with your school PTA or administration for specifics.
On Walk to School Day, parents and teachers should take the opportunity to talk with students about best safety practices for walking to school:
- Use the sidewalk
- Always cross at the crosswalk
- Stop, look left, right and left again before crossing
- Make eye contact with the drivers
- Obey the crossing guards and traffic signs and signals
- Wear bright or retro reflective clothing so that drivers can see you
Parents can form walking groups or “walking school buses” to share the responsibility of escorting the students to school. When students are ready to walk without a parent, the buddy system is still always the best option.
Walking is good exercise. The First Lady, the Surgeon General and the CDC all recommend 60 minutes of physical activity per day for young people and walking to and from school counts. Numerous studies show that physical activity correlates to better academic performance. Walking to and from school prepares kids to learn. Walking to and from school is good for the environment.
Want another reason? It is fun! So take your child’s hand and experience the world from a different perspective. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the morning or afternoon and the knowledge that you are doing something good for your family, the community and the earth.
This article appeared in the October 2015 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.