Many area students will participate in this year’s Walk to School Day event, set for Oct. 4. The international event is an effort to raise awareness of the need for safe walking and biking facilities and to encourage students to take steps toward leading a healthier lifestyle.
During a meeting Monday, the City Council issued a proclamation observing Walk to School Day.
“More than 2,500 local students participate in Walk to School Day every year,” said City Grants Administrator Nancy Warring. “This event gives parents a chance to teach safe walking skills to their children. Plus it’s good for the environment, and it reduces traffic congestion, pollution and speed near the schools.”
Walk to School Day is observed throughout the world, with more than 40 countries participating. Bartlesville Public School District students at seven BPSD sites are encouraged to walk or bike to school on Oct. 4, including all elementary schools and Central and Madison middle schools.
Each student who walks or bikes to school that day will receive a prize/treat to acknowledge their participation in the program, as long as supplies last.
“Parents are encouraged to walk with their children, park and walk from a remote location, or organize a walking school bus,” Warring said. “For families who live too far away to walk or bike to school, parents are encouraged to drop their students off a few blocks from their school so they can participate.”
Walk to School Day was first held communitywide in Bartlesville in 2009, thanks to a grant awarded by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to the City of Bartlesville to help facilitate the event.
Volunteers and other program supporters will be posted at each participating BPSD site to greet students who walk or bike to school, including some area elected officials and local police officers and firefighters.
For more information about Walk to School Day, see www.cityofbartlesville.org. To volunteer for the local event, contact Kerry Ickleberry, BPS Safe Schools coordinator, at 918-336-3311.