Will yours be one of the hundreds of students walking and biking to school next Wednesday?
International Walk to School Day is coming up on Oct. 3, and local schools are working to find safe routes for your children to utilize. In Potomac, Bells Mill Elementary School and Wayside Elementary School will participate in the event, along with 30 other schools countywide.
Last year, more than 500 students participated in the event from Bells Mill, according to assistant principal Trish Thomas. This is the second year the school will participate in the event. The student body, parents and teachers will meet at Cabin John Middle School at the regular school start time of 9:15 a.m. to walk to Bells Mill as a group. After the walk, students will have an assembly with a police officer who will discuss pedestrian safety.
“We had a lot of positive feedback,” Thomas said of last year’s event. “When the officer came out he also focused on bike safety, and as a result we have additional bike racks.” Thomas said students were inspired to bike to school after listen to the officer’s tips.
Students at Wayside Elementary can meet teachers and volunteers at certain intersections to walk, as groups, to school, according to the school's staff development specialist Aaron King.
At 8:45 a.m. teachers will meet kids at the following locations:
- Bedfordshire and Glen
- Twining and Glen
- Gregerscroft and Doubletree
- Hunting Ridge Ct.
“The teachers will be out to walk with as many kids as possible. In the past we’ve had some families that might normally ride or take the but come out to the walking areas,” King said. "It’s a lot of fun.”
This international event was first proposed to bring together community leaders and children to create awareness of the need for communities to be walkable. Today, walkers all over the country will be stretching their legs for a variety of reasons, from bringing awareness to childhood obesity to promoting cleaner air and school safety. For this year’s event, over 2,000 schools have registered to participate in the United States.
For more information on how to participate, visit the event website here.