Thursday, February 27, 2014
The Third Annual South Carolina Walk to School Day (SCWTSD) is Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Organized by the South Carolina Department of Transportation's (SCDOT) Safe Routes to School Resource Center, S.C. Walk to School Day is part of a broader effort by many schools and communities to help get students more active. Walking requires no special equipment, and even a ten minute brisk walk will increase physical activity and can help stimulate kids' brains and improve school performance.
Walk to School events emphasize the importance of increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, concern for the environment, and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.
S.C. Walk to School Day mirrors International Walk to School Day, a hugely popular South Carolina tradition in October when hundreds of schools participate with walk to school or walk at school events. This past October, South Carolina had an all-time record for the number of registered events in the state. With 277 schools registered in October, South Carolina ranked No. 1 in the nation, with the highest percentage of schools participating for the second year in a row (1 in every 4 elementary and middle schools in the state). So far, the resource center has over 150 schools registered for S.C. Walk to School Day.
By organizing park-and-walk sites, or walk at school events, schools include students who live too far from school to walk regularly. Schools have figured out how to get students excited about waking up a bit earlier and walking to school, with local celebrities such as the Carolina Panthers' Sir Purr coming out to help talk to kids about why walking is fun, healthy and good for the environment.
S.C. Walk to School Day helps schools initiate conversations about how walking and biking can:
Enhance health by increasing the amount of physical activity.
Improve air quality by reducing automobile emissions in the school zone.
Make the streets safer by relieving traffic congestion.
The Safe Routes to School Resource Center is a federally funded project of SCDOT that provides education, encouragement and planning support to schools throughout South Carolina that partner with the resource center.
Services and materials are provided at no cost to K-8 schools and their communities.
Contact the resource center's School Outreach Coordinators or go to SCSafeRoutes.org for more information about events, materials and opportunities to participate.
For additional information, please contact Rodney Oldham, SCDOT Safe Routes to School Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.