When local students slip on their backpacks and step out the front door to walk or bike to school October 9—International Walk to School Day–they will likely be joining students from more than 40 countries.
The day, designed to encourage physical activity, raise awareness about the walkability of the community and where improvements are needed, raise concern for the environment, and reduce traffic congestion and pollution near schools, was first held in 2000 and it continues to grow in popularity.
Local schools participating in the event include Aloma, Audubon Park, Brookshire, Cheney, Dommerich, Hungerford, Lake Sybelia and Lakemont elementary schools, and Maitland and Glenridge middle schools.
Each has received a $500 mini-grant from Healthy Central Florida (HCF) to help develop a walk and bike to school program. (HCF is a community-based initiative founded by the Winter Park Health Foundation and Florida Hospital to develop the healthiest community in the U.S.)
The schools received the mini-grants after participating in an HCF-sponsored Walk and Bike to School Workshop on September 18 offered to teach participants how to successfully start and grow a walking and biking to school program. It drew more than 40 people. Special guests included Orange County School Board member Joie Cadle; Joy Goff Marcil, a Maitland City Council member; and many local principals, teachers and leaders.
Local leaders also will join students at some of the schools for the October 9 walk, including Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker. Stay tuned!
Click here for more information on International Walk to School Day.
Click here for more information on HCF.