As schools and families are experimenting with new ways to keep kids healthy and in school, perhaps it’s time to rely on old-fashioned transportation: walking and bicycling to school.
Kids who walk and bike to school start their day with fresh air, exercise, and social interaction. They “get the wiggles out” before they sit down in a classroom. Kids learn independence and responsibility. And they build stronger relationships with their neighborhood and the people who live in it.
In the last 50 years, more and more students are arriving at school by car, and people have real concerns about the safety of their kids. But when schools and families work together to prioritize kids’ mobility, the entire community will benefit from better sidewalks, reduced traffic, and stronger relationships.
International Walk to School Day is October 6th. How is your school celebrating? Here are some ways you can build a coalition for Safe Routes to School:
Does your school have a Safe Routes to School program? Nursing staff and physical education teachers are often especially supportive of walking or biking initiatives. Here’s a sample message you can send to your administrators:
“Our family would love to ditch the pick up/drop off queue and begin walking to school, and we want other families to join us. Would [your school] support us in increasing students’ physical activity, reducing school zone traffic, and improving air quality? Let’s set a meeting to discuss ideas!”
When kids walk or bike to school, they build social skills and remind neighbors that your community is a kid-friendly place. Why not organize a “walking school bus” with neighborhood families so the kids can walk together? Read this example from "Walking Wednesdays" in Rosedale.
Kids love exploring, and there’s no better way to learn your neighborhood than by walking or riding. Point out landmarks “the house with the blue door” or “the big tree on the corner” to help kids navigate independently when they’re ready.
BikeWalkKC is a national leader in Safe Routes to School, an initiative that works to make it easy, safe, and fun for children to walk or bike to school. With community planning services and consultation and collaboration with our professional staff, we have helped school districts, school, and families find solutions for the physical activity, traffic, and transportation challenges they face. How can we work together for your community? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions and start the process.
Help Get Kids Walking & Biking!
Mile 10 Gift Opportunity
You and I benefit from more kids walking and biking. They are our future advocates. We’re counting on them to continue working for improved sidewalks, better trails, and more public spaces so that walking or biking is the easy choice for everyone.
If you believe every day is a great day to walk or ride to school (or work, the store, a park, or the library!), then consider giving a gift to support BikeWalkKC’s community programs.
Your $10 gift will help get more kids and adults walking and biking. Thank you!