Virgin Valley Elementary School in Mesquite joined schools from around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day on October 3, 2012.
Approximately 470 students from the elementary school walked and rolled to school Wednesday along with parents, teachers and volunteers. The Virgin Valley Elementary School Safety Committee, teachers, and several PTO members arrived early to multiple points around the school and at the city recreation center parking lot to pass out “I Walked” stickers and wish everyone a good morning.
The event began at 8:30 am with kids, parents and volunteers walking from home or the recreation center. Walkers [and bicyclists] were given their stickers that were turned in for tickets to a drawing held Wednesday afternoon for water bottles and school t-shirts.
In 2011, International Walk to School Day was celebrated at more than 4,000 events at schools across the United States, along with children and adults in 40 countries around the world.
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 was organized by Mr. Matthew Bennett, assistant principal at Virgin Valley Elementary School. Mr. Bennett wished to thank the following staff members for their help: Ms. Abigail Dalton, Kindergarten teacher; Ms. Trish Gunderson, first grade teacher; Ms. Lisa Traxler, second grade teacher; Mr. Mark Moriarty, third grade teacher; Mr. Dave Tait, fourth grade teacher; Ms. Susan Potter, KIDS teacher; Mr. Leon Durbin, PE teacher; and Ms. Julianne Szabo, school counselor.
For additional information, please visit these websites:
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 www.iwalktoschool.org
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 Bicycling and Walking, 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.