October is International Walk to School Month with the emphasis on October 6 as Chapel Hill celebrates International Walk to School Day. The Go Chapel Hill program coordinates the Walk to School Day as part of the Town of Chapel Hill’s efforts to reduce traffic congestion, keep the air clean and encourage active healthy lifestyle. The Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools annually have 5 – 8 schools that participate in the International Walk to School Day, reducing morning peak hour traffic by approximately 850 – 1000 cars. Through the Safe Routes to School program, students and families are encouraged to walk, bicycle, scooter or use other healthy means to get to and from school. Some families coordinate and gather annually at certain meeting spots to enjoy the social aspects of walking to school together— teachers will also walk as an encouragement in the efforts . Parents and teachers comment that the program promotes healthier lifestyle, offers parent/child time together, gives students an energy boost for a clear and ready minds for learning, and offers opportunity for healthy emotional growth through the social aspects of students walking together. Each school determines the level of participation in the Walk to School Day according to location, student population and other events scheduled for that week.
Active Wednesdays— Throughout the year, students are encouraged to continue using alternative transportation to get to and from school, especially on Wednesdays! Alternative transportation includes school buses, Chapel Hill Transit, carpools, walking, cycling, scooters and other means of healthy transportation. And as always safety comes first for whichever style of transportation is used to get to and from school!
More information can be found on the websites at International Walk to School Day: www.walktoschool.org or the Safe Routes to School program at www.saferoutesinfo.org . For more information regarding the local Walk to School efforts contact Len Cone at the Town of Chapel Hill 968 – 2728. Information regarding alternative transportation in Chapel Hill can also be found at www.gochapelhill.org .