With all the outdoor summer fun gone for another year and thoughts of 10 long months in the classroom weighing you down, do you have the back to school blues? Fear not, Fall is a great time to get outside and we have a great way to kick off a year of staying active and having a great time on the way to school. October is International Walk and Bike to School Month. Walk and Bike to School Month gives children, parents, teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event as they celebrate the many benefits of walking and bicycling.
Why Walk or Bike to School?
Walking and biking is a great way to get to school. Using their feet or a bicycle can make students stronger and healthier, and give them more independence. Walking and biking can have positive effects on your life, your community, and the world. Here are some reasons to walk or bicycle to school:
- Get Exercise: Walking and biking to school is a great opportunity for children (and adults!) to get the physical activity they need.
- Get Outdoors: Walking and biking to school is a great way to get outside and enjoy New Jersey’s fabulous Fall weather!
- Help the Environment: Replacing car trips with walking or bicycling can reduce emissions, making the air cleaner and letting your community breathe easier.
- Make Your Community a Better Place: Walking and biking to school can help reduce congestion. More people out on their bikes or walking, and fewer people in cars helps make your neighborhood safer, quieter, and friendlier. Get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood on a bike or on foot.
- It’s Fun: Most importantly, walking and biking to school is fun! It can be a great way for parents to spend more time with their children or for students to start their day off on a high note by having fun with their friends before even getting to school
How to get Started
The best way to get started with planning Walk and Bike to School Month activities is to contact your Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Regional Coordinator. SRTS Regional Coordinators from eight Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) throughout New Jersey are ready, willing and able to offer advice and assistance with kicking off programs in communities from all 21 counties. To find your SRTS coordinator, visit: http://www.saferoutesnj.org/about/regional-coordinator-tmas/
Keep the Fun Coming!
Walk and Bike to School month is a great time to plan fun and exciting walk and bike to school events in your community, but why stop there? Communities and schools can use Walk and Bike to School Month as a kick-off toward changing community culture and creating better options for getting around that are safer, healthier, and more inviting for everyone, both young and old. Your Regional SRTS Coordinator can not only help with walk and bike to school events, but can also assist you with:
- walking school bus programs,
- youth bicycle and pedestrian education,
- school travel plans,
- surveys that provide evaluation and feedback on local programs,
- a variety of other exciting programming.
To see how your SRTS Regional Coordinator can help you to make the trip school safer, healthier and more fun in your community, give them a call today!