70 schools and over 11,000 students participated in International Walk & Roll to School Day on October 9th, 2013. Thousands more participated around the world.
Many schools organized walking school buses and bike trains to school to highlight and celebrate the benefits of choosing student-powered transportation to school. At numerous schools across the county and nation, International Walk and Roll to School Day is the launch of an ongoing Safe Routes to School program that includes weekly or monthly walk & roll days and walk/bike safety education. At Cali Calmécac in Windsor, a Walking School bus that sometimes reaches 100+ participants travels to school from the Town Green every Wednesday year round. The Sonoma County SRTS education program includes an innovative Walk & Bicycle Safety assembly written and performed by the local Imaginist Theater troupe, bicycle skill/safety rodeos, and walk & bicycle safety classroom lessons.
The SRTS program has had a tremendous impact at Proctor Terrace Elementary School in Santa Rosa, where Proctor Terrace parent and SRTS School team member Connie Sultana says “Traffic around the school and neighborhood is much calmer on ‘Walk and Roll to School Wednesdays’ and the school crossing guard, Pat, really earns her money that day. On an average day 20% of our students walk and bike to school. On Walk and Roll Wednesdays the number jumps to about 60%. Everyone is outside with smiles on their faces and you can feel the energy of the group. Not only is the exercise good for the health of our students and community members, but it really adds to our school spirit. Two years ago, I was the only one with a tandem bike. Now I have noticed about 8 more, which shows people are getting more creative with their biking too.”
The Sonoma County SRTS program is making a difference. At schools implementing ongoing programs, preliminary data indicates an average increase of students walking and bicycling to school of 6%, with some of the county’s champion schools displaying a tremendous increase in students walking and bicycling to school.
Here are some pictures shared by a few of our participating schools!