Culver City Walk & Rollers will kick off the month of Walktober by participating in International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.
Once again, CCUSD schools will be joining thousands of schools and millions of kids around the world in this international celebration of active transportation. Last year, over 5,600 schools in the U.S. hosted walk to school events in October in support of a growing trend of walking and biking more to school.
Culver City’s official kick-off site will be at City Hall, Wednesday October 2, beginning at 8 a.m.
“Over the past several years, Culver City has made great strides in helping kids get to school by walking, biking, scootering and riding the bus, says Culver City Meghan Sahli-Wells. “This gives students healthy exercise, while also improving air quality and traffic in our neighborhoods, and it’s fun! International Walk to School Day celebrates this shift from cars to active transportation, and I very much look forward to walking to school with our students on October 2nd.”
Each school has a specific meetup site and plan to walk to school as a group, lead by parent volunteers. Each school tabulates the number of students participating, awarding prizes to the classes with the most walkers. Mayor Sahli-Wells and CCUSD School Board President Kelly Kent will be joining one of the largest groups – Linwood E. Howe’s Dance-Walk-to-School Party – at City Hall.
Families are encouraged to take advantage of their school’s Walk to School Day event to learn routes to school, make friends to walk with and build a new habit of driving less and walking more. Three blocks is shorter than parents realize, and it helps to reduce traffic around schools, frees up parking for those who need it and provides an easy opportunity to teach their kids about traffic and pedestrian safety.
“More kids than ever are walking and biking to our schools, “ states Jim Shanman, Culver City Safe Routes to School Coordinator “Our most recent Safe Routes to School survey shows that 38% of CCUSD students walk to school regularly. When combined with bikes and scooters, nearly half of CCUSD students get to school with out a car most days!” Compared to a national average of only 10% of kids walking to school, Culver City is becoming a local leader in improving safety around school sites by getting people out of their cars more often.
International Walk to School Day raises 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 Culver City Walk to School Day events are part of a larger city-wide program that includes regular walk to school days, PE safety instruction for pedestrians and cyclists, community rides and classes and coordination with Culver City on school-related infrastructure improvements. The program is overseen by Jim Shanman, Culver City Safe Routes to School Coordinator and Executive Director of Walk ‘n Rollers.
For additional information, please contact Jim Shanman at (310) 204-4346 or visit the following websites:
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 and Bike 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 Safe Routes to School, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Safe Kids Worldwide, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.