International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014

For more information, contact Kim Papich (509) 324-1539 or kpapich@srhd.org

SPOKANE, Wash. – Oct. 7, 2014 – If you are one of the many people in Spokane County interested in safely increasing physical activity among children, mark your calendars for this year’s International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.

Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD), through its Stickman Knows campaign, is working with its partners at Washington Bikes and Feet First on several area celebrations that will take place Wednesday. The health district and partners will have representatives at:

  • Holmes Elementary - 2600 W. Sharp Ave.
  • Seth Woodard Elementary - 7401 E. Mission Ave.
  • Moran Prairie Elementary - 4224 E. 57th Ave.

From 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m., they will celebrate walking and rolling to school along with staff and students. Several other Spokane County schools also have celebrations planned, all in an effort to encourage families to participate in the event and raise awareness about safer routes to school.
 
This internationally-recognized day also emphasizes the importance of issues such as personal safety and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.
 
Holmes Elementary will have a visibility demonstration set up where children can climb into a FedEx vehicle to see the blind spots drivers have when looking for children on the road. Otto, the Spokane Indians baseball mascot will add to the celebration, as well as several volunteer bike mechanics to help keep bicycles in top form.
 
Seth Woodard families will gather at nearby Knox Park and will walk to school together along an organized route. Moran Prairie is bringing in neighborhood fire officials to greet students walking and biking to school, and again, to raise awareness about the importance of safe travel to school.  Media are invited to attend schools’ celebrations.

Walking or biking to school benefits children, families and the community:

  1. Physical activity needs - children need an hour of physical activity per day—walking or biking to school counts toward this minimum. Childhood obesity is a serious health issue and in 2012, in Spokane County, approximately 25 percent of adolescents were either overweight or obese.
  2. Better concentration at school - evidence shows that children who are physically active on the way to school are better able to focus in class.
  3. Learning safety skills - children learn road safety from adults who help them get safely to and from school.
  4. Decreased pollution and congestion – increasing the number of students who walk or bike helps reduce car idling and hazardous congestion around schools.
  5. Building connections – these events help develop trusting relationships between families, schools and the broader community.

Walk to School Day was founded in 1997 as a way to bring community leaders and children together to build awareness of the need for communities to be more walkable. In 2013, students and parents from more than 4,000 U.S. schools joined millions of Walk to School Day participants worldwide.
 
For more information about Walk to School Day, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org. If you have questions about specific events, contact Mariah McKay, mmckay@srhd.org. More information is also available at www.srhd.org. More information is also available at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.


About Stickman Knows
Spokane Regional
Transportation Council’s board chose to fund the Stickman Knows safety
awareness campaign via a Transportation Enhancement grant provided by
the Washington Department of Transportation. Campaign materials are
available at stickmanknows.org
 
About Safe Routes to School
Spokane
Regional Health District received a grant from the Washington
Department of Transportation to increase the number of students walking
and biking safely to school in seven Spokane County elementary schools
over the next three years. Part of the program includes establishing
Walking School Bus pilot programs to support families in using safe and
active transportation means to get children to school.    
 
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.
  • In the United States, International Walk to School Day is expected to be celebrated at over 4,000 events at participating schools. U.S. walkers will join children and adults in 40 countries around the world.
  • Walk to School Day is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the simple joy of walking to school, the health benefits of regular activity, and the need for safe places to walk and bike.