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Schools celebrate International Walk to School Week

BURLINGTON — Of the 30 schools around Vermont, eight Chittenden County local elementary schools are joining schools from around the state to celebrate this week’s International Walk to School Week.

Approximately 800 students from these schools will be walking to school along with parents, teachers and community leaders. Walk to School activities seek to get youth active, improve traffic safety and reduce congestion around schools. Supervised groups of children will walk and bike to the eight schools during the week.

Specific activities include:

  • Flynn Elementary School, Burlington: Eight walking school buses will pickup students all five days
  • C.P. Smith Elementary School, Burlington: Walking school buses will pickup children all five days and Shawna Lidsky, Channel 3 New’s sportscaster, will punch “frequent walker” cards on Wednesday
  • Edmunds Elementary School, Burlington: Five walking school buses will pick up students on Wednesday
  • Hinesburg Community School, Hinesburg: Walking school buses willdepart the Post Office at 7:35am all five days with town leaders joining the Wednesday walk
  • Jericho Elementary School, Jericho: Three walking school buses will meet school buses at collection points, students have written a cheer
  • JFK Elementary School, Winooski: “I Walk Parade” up Main Street with school mascots and staff and end with breakfast at school on Wednesday
  • Shelburne Elementary School, Shelburne: Students will meet at the Town Green at 7:30 on Wednesday and walk to school

In the U.S., International Walk to School Week 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.

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 together to create International Walk to School Day.

Chittenden County activities are being organized by Local Motion, a greater Burlington non-profit organization promoting walking and bicycling. Other partners include the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

Statewide, more than 30 schools are involved in the Vermont Safe Routes To School initiative.

For more information, International Walk to School in the USA at www.walktoschool.org

Posted October 4, 2006

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