Georgia Safe Routes to School on Facebook Georgia Safe Routes to School RSS

2016 International Walk to School Day to Celebrate its 20th Anniversary

News Date: 
Thu, 2016-09-29
Event Date: 
Thu, 2016-09-29

Schools across Georgia will help celebrate International Walk to School Day’s 20th Anniversary. This year features a multi-faceted focus on safety, such as the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Drive Alert. Arrive Alive Statewide safety campaign aimed at educating drivers about making simple changes in their driving behavior that can prevent crashes and safe lives. Driver behavior is especially important near schools. The campaign is a partnership between Georgia DOT, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety and the Department of Public Safety. Mayors nationwide are also committing to safer streets for children traveling to and from school through the Mayors’ Challenge and Walk to School Day promotions. Participating mayors are taking steps to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries through an effort called Vision Zero.

Over the past 20 years Walk to School Day has gone from a one-day event to a long-term effort to create places where children have more opportunities for physical activity, and everyone feels a little more connected.  The number of Georgia schools participating in International Walk to School Day grows each year, as students, parents, and school administrators learn more about the many benefits of walking and biking to school. 

“No matter the reason: to improve students’ physical and mental health, to teach pedestrian safety skills, to impact air quality, to build a stronger community, or to simply have fun, any school in Georgia can find a way to participate in this event,” said Patti Sistrunk, Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center Manager.  “It’s a great way to get the new school year started on the right ‘foot’!”

International Walk to School Day events can be as simple or elaborate as a school desires. While the official day is October 5th, events any day in October are encouraged. Schools can register their event with the National Safe Routes to School Resource Center at www.walkbiketoschool.org.  Georgia-specific resources are available on the Resource Center website at www.saferoutesga.org. Resources include a press release template for schools to use to encourage media coverage of their event.