Students taking to the streets to promote safe, healthy ‘Walk’

Students taking to the streets to promote safe, healthy ‘Walk’

Posted: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 9:08 pm
By: Chris Menees, Staff Reporter

Students taking to the streets to promote safe, healthy ‘Walk’ | Students taking to the streets to promote safe, healthy ‘Walk’

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Union City students will be pounding the pavement Oct. 6.
The local students will join others from schools around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day, according to Kristen Miles, the Union City School System’s Coordinated School Health director.
The event will begin at 7 a.m. Oct. 6, with children, parents and community leaders walking from three different locations in Union City, depending on the school and neighborhood.
Union City Elementary School students will meet at either Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church or the middle school tennis courts parking lot and will finish at the front of the elementary school, while Union City Middle School students will meet at either Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church or the parking lot of the Boys & Girls Club on East College Street and will finish at War Memorial Stadium’s track on the high school campus.
Mrs. Miles said walkers will arrive at the school at 7:30 a.m., with a celebration to follow. Refreshments and door prizes will be included.
International Walk to School Day is expected to include 5,000 schools from all 50 states. Walkers from the U.S. will join children and adults in 40 countries around the world.
Walk to School events work to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.
The event is being organized by Coordinated School Health, billed as an effective system designed to connect health (physical, emotional and social) with education. This coordinated approach improves students’ health and their capacity to learn through the support of families, communities and schools working together, according to Mrs. Miles.
Among the organizations which support International Walk to School Day in the U.S. are America Walks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Highway Administration, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Safe Kids Worldwide and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.
For more information about the local walk, contact Mrs. Miles at 885-1632, Ext. 511.
Additional information may also be found online at the International Walk to School in the USA website, www.walktoschool.org; the National Center for Safe Routes to School website, www.saferoutesinfo.org; and the International Walk to School website, www.iwalktoschool.org.
About the effort
• Walk to School Day was established in the United States in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America. Canada and Great Britain already had walk to school programs in place. In 2000, these three countries joined to create International Walk to School Day.
• In May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School was established to assist communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school.
• The National Center for Safe Routes to School serves as the national coordinating agency for Walk to School activities in the U.S.
• Walk to School Day began as a simple idea — children and parents, school and local officials walking to school together on a designated day. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the simple joy of walking to school, the health benefits of regular daily activity and the need for safe places to walk and bike. Schools focus on health, safety, physical activity and concern for the environment.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 9.28.10

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