Get ready to walk to school on October 10th! That’s International Walk to School Day, a day to promote activity, safety and a sense of community. Hillsborough County Public Schools hopes, this year, even more families take part by walking or biking to school. www.iwalktoschool.org
Many schools in Hillsborough County are already signed up to take part in Walk to School Day. You can check to see if your school is hosting an event at www.walkbiketoschool.org/registration/whoswalking. Work with your principal and register your school’s event through the end of October to be counted among the thousands of schools that participate every year.
"While the event only occurs once a year, it's a conversation starter and change initiator for schools, community partners and agencies." said Jessica Vega, Hillsborough Schools Communications and Marketing Specialist.
St. Joseph’s Children’s Wellness and Safety Center is partnering with Hillsborough County Schools to promote this important initiative. It’s offering banners, stop signs and reflective vests as well as providing prizes to kids who take part. Schools interested in taking St. Joseph’s up on its assistance should call 813-615-0589.
Supporting Healthy Schools and Providing Community Benefits:
Hillsborough County Public Schools was recently recognized for achieving "Gold Status" as one of Florida's Healthy School Districts for 2017-2018. Only eight school districts in Florida achieved this level. Visit bit.ly/HCPShealthyschools and see how your school ranks.
Walking or biking to school helps promote this healthy lifestyle. However, that’s far from the only benefit.
Less traffic congestion. Reducing the number of cars commuting to school can reduce morning traffic around the school. Less traffic congestion also improves conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Stronger sense of community. The common goal of improving conditions for walking and bicycling brings families, neighbors, school officials, and community leaders together.
Safer streets. Communities with higher rates of walking and bicycling tend to have lower crash rates. One reason may be that motorists drive more cautiously when they expect to encounter walkers and bicyclists.
Lower costs. Encouraging bicycle and pedestrian trips reduces costs for the family, community and school district. Families save on gas, communities spend less on building and maintaining roads.
Economic gains. Sidewalks, paths and other investments in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure can increase home values and direct additional traffic to local businesses.