On May 7, dozens of children and parents throughout the city walked and biked to school in recognition of the 5th Annual Walk/Bike to School Day. The children, parents, and school administrators met in a central location, walked to school, and then enjoyed some planned events and physical activity. Mayor Mitchell, Superintendent Pia Durkin, Principal Karen Meyer, SRTS State-wide Coordinator Erin Reed along with Mass in Motion joined in the festivities held at Ashley Elementary – this year’s spotlight school.
At Ashley Elementary, children participated in a “walking school bus,” which is simply a group of students who walk together while supervised by an adult. The school will continue to convene a walking school bus to and from school every day until the end of the school year. Every morning, students at Ashley are encouraged to join in dancing and walking before school starts, and every Wednesday they can participate in guided exercises, which include activities such as jumping jacks and stretching.
Other participating schools included Hathaway, Pacheco, Parker, and Winslow, each participating in various Walk/Bike to School activities. The event is a great way to encourage kids, and remind parents, how healthy it is to walk or bike to school. After the event, one mother commented: “My son participated in this today and I have not seen him that excited about getting ready for school in a long time. He loved it and was extra excited that he not only had the chance to meet the Mayor but also talked to him and took pictures with him. These are the kinds of stories we need to hear more about. Thank you to all involved!”
Safe Routes to School events aim to bring attention to the need for safe sidewalks, streets, and neighborhoods. We’ve been working hard with city departments and planners to improve sidewalks, crosswalks, and signage to encourage drivers to take notice of, and slow down for, all pedestrians and cyclists. So please encourage your children to walk or bike to school and remind your family, friends, and neighbors who drive to slow down for pedestrians and cyclists!
Check out this great video from New Bedford Cable Network!