Students at Frenchtown Elementary School have kicked off the first of several “Frozen” themed winter walks to school being coordinated this month by the Hunterdon County Safe Routes to School Program.  The theme is inspired by the lyrics of the popular movie’s theme song, “Let It Go” (the cold never bothered me anyway….).

“The walk to school program has traditionally focused on the fall and spring walking seasons,” says Tara Shepherd, Hunterdon County Safe Routes to School Program.  “But students can walk year round, weather permitting.  This special event provides fun motivation to keep kids walking during the colder weather, which we know has many benefits” she adds. An often cited 2012 Danish study has shown that students who walk to school are able to concentrate better during the school day than those who do not walk.

On Wednesday, February 4, 2015 approximately 30 Frenchtown School students were joined by Principal Christina Dalla Palu, faculty members and parent volunteers for the walk.  They started at the corner of Bridge Street and Harrison Street, picking up students along Harrison Street, as part of the “walking school bus”.  Several girls sang “Let It Go” as they made their way to school.

Upon arriving at school, students each received a “snow boot” charm to hang on their backpack, as well as an “I Walked” certificate.  Students also signed a special banner to commemorate their participation.

In preparation for the walks, a letter with specific tips for walking in colder weather was sent home to parents/caregivers.   The importance of keeping heads and feet warm, by wearing hats and boots, dressing in layers, warm coats, glove/mittens, and scarves was emphasized, along with watching for icy spots, using crosswalks, and looking “left, right, and left again.

 In the coming weeks, students at Barley Sheaf Elementary School (Raritan Township), Califon Public School, Hampton Public School, High Bridge Elementary Schools, and Lambertville Public School will participate in their own “Frozen” themed walks. All schools have been provided with guidelines for gauging safe temperatures to allow children to walk to school.

Special thanks to the Hunterdon County Safe Routes to School Program which is coordinated by HART Transportation Management Association for writing this article!