Schools throughout the Jamestown area are encouraged to join schools from around the country in celebrating the inaugural National Bike and Walk to School Day on Wednesday.
The event builds on Walk to School Day, which is celebrated across the country - and the world - each October. Many schools in Chautauqua County have participated in the October event, including all of Jamestown's elementary and middle schools. The event is an opportunity for schools across the country to once again join together and focus on safe walking and bicycling.
Parents, teachers, and community leaders are welcome to accompany their children to school, and to work with their school and PTA or PTO to organize bike trains or walking school buses for the event. A walking school bus can be an adult volunteer or older student making stops to pick up children along a predetermined route, so children are not walking alone.
Jefferson Middle School students participated in Walk to School Day 2011 by meeting school staff at various locations and walking to school together.
"Walking school buses or bike trains are one way to help keep students safe on their trips to and from school. We recognize safety as a key factor in parent's decision to allow their child to walk or bike to and from school," said Tina Sandstrom, Jamestown Public Schools director of elementary education and a member of the Jamestown Safe Routes to School Partnership.
Event organizers said Bike and Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for bicycling and walking and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion and concern for the environment. The events help to build connections between families, schools and the broader community.
The event is being promoted by the Jamestown Safe Routes to School Partnership, representing Jamestown Public Schools, the City of Jamestown, Jamestown Police Department, the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation's Neighborhood Initiatives program, Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work, and Play, and the Chautauqua County Health Network. The group is working to promote Safe Routes to School for the many students already walking to school, and to encourage more students to regularly walk to school.
"Increased physical activity is something we all should strive for," said Janet Forbes, Creating Healthy Places project coordinator. "Using active transportation to get to school will help meet that goal while reducing vehicular traffic and congestion in school zones."
For more local information, contact Ms. Forbes at 338-0010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.