Walk or Bike to School Day

March 18, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Posted in Physical Activity - Before School | Leave a comment
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Student holding signs the classes made for the day

Students holding signs the classes made for the day

The Norwich Elementary wellness committee hosted a “Walk to School” day on International Walk to School Day, October 8th.    See flyer that went out to parents if you like by clicking on the following link…..

walktoschooflyereventdetails   Unfortunately it rained prettty heavily that morning, so the principal sent a computerized message by phone that morning that it was cancelled.  But thankfully, they had planned ahead and scheduled a rain date!

Hilliard Mayor, DARE police officer, city traffic engineer and firefighters led the way!

Firefighters, Mayor, City traffic engineer, and DARE police officer led the way.

So, the next week, on Thursday, Oct 16, students walked from home, met at friends houses to walk, and some who live too far to walk, met at the high school that was 1 mile from Norwich Elementary to walk together.  The group that walked together were greeted by the mayor, the Hilliard city traffic engineer, the DARE police officer that coordinates the 4th and 5th grade drug resistance program, and a whole slew of fire fighters with their trucks!  A parent who is also a fitness instructor led some warm up exercises and got the kids excited for the 1 mile walk down to their school.

Signs and balloons were posted along the way, givng information about how far they’ve walked, and K-3rd graders made signs of encouragement.  100_0748Parent volunteers who normally walk to school were recruited to station themselves at the school with hand clicker counters to count the number of student participants.  Parents who participated were encouraged to sign up inside the school for a raffle of 3 $50 gas/grocery cards as a token of appreciation and to raise awareness of how much gas can be saved if our entire school would walk for a day!  On the raffle sign up table were numerous publications on pedestrian safety, driving tips on roundabouts (there are several new ones in the area), bicycle safety, etc.   During the week, age-appropriate publications were given through the classroom teachers, courtesy of Ohio Department of Public Safety.
With nearly 300 students walking or biking to school that day, they reached their goal of 40% student participation, and students were awarded new recess equipment to help them be more physically active.100_0760; which included hula hoops, foamie frisbees, hippity hops, and oversized bodyballs.
To evaluate this effort, the committee decided to do some measurements before this day, do one more walk to school day in the spring, and then repeat the measurements.   The number of bikes in the bike racks were counted, and the number of cars dropping off students each morning will be assessed before and after these events.  A parent survey was also given to all those who entered the raffle, and the summary was given to the city traffic engineer.  For the survey summary, click on walk-to-school-surveyresults.
Many of these ideas were obtained from www.walktoschool.org – check it out! 
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