Not long ago, students routinely moved around their neighborhood by foot or by a bicycle often traveling to and from school.
Many now are looking to revive the age old tradition by encouraging more and more neighborhood students to "travel green" either cycling or walking to and from school each day. For these reasons, the MPO School Transportation Working Group (STWG) works diligently with Hillsborough County Public Schools, PTA groups, agencies/organizations to educate the community about students walking or biking to school safely.
Sidewalk Stompers is one example of a neighborhood group, (walking school bus) made up of Roosevelt Elementary School parents, encouraging and supporting neighborhood children to walk to school.
Co-founder of Sidewalk Stompers, Emily Hinsdale shared, "Palma Ceia Sidewalk Stompers' mission is to promote a healthy, pedestrian-friendly, and safe Tampa Bay by encouraging walking and supporting the development of walking infrastructure."
With the support of the Palma Ceia Neighborhood Association, Sidewalk Stompers started "Walk to School Wednesdays" at Roosevelt Elementary School, a once a week walk-to-school routine.
School Board Chair and STWG Committee Chair Cindy Stuart stated, " I am excited to see a school that is taking action steps to map walking routes and model safe routes for students on a daily basis. This is a crucial piece of educating students and parents on how to navigate the streets around their schools."
Palma Ceia Sidewalk Stompers brings awareness by:
Community support continues to grow with local businesses such as Dough, Dancebox Studio, Starbucks, Mango Bay Trading Co. and many others giving out incentives showing their support of the program.
The success of the program is evident as other PTAs and district staff are looking to offer the SideWalk Stompers at their schools. To learn how more about the program or how you can have this at your school visit www.sidewalkstompers.org.