The week of October 3-7 is International Walk to School Week, encouraging children (and parents!) to walk or bike to school. And, October 5th is International Walk to School Day. In 2004, more than 3 million children, parents, and community leaders from 36 countries around the world participated in International Walk to School Week. I cannot stress enough the importance of these events.
I helped coordinate a workshop earlier this year (in a city that shall remain nameless) that focused on an area where an estimated 600 kids per day would be crossing a busy six-lane highway. This was because a school district had stopped funding buses and there were no other options for these mostly disadvantaged children. The situation was so dangerous that even I was very nervous crossing the highway. I was so angry after the workshop because I felt deep down that someone would be killed crossing the intersection. Luckily, composure was kept during the workshop and some real strides were made that day. Perhaps there is nothing more tragic than cutting the life short of a child.
Children should not have to face this situation. And we all know the health detriments many children are facing. The only option we have is to make it safer for children to walk or bike to school. When gas hits $7 per gallon (and it will), a lot of people will not be able to afford to drive their kids to school. Schools will cut funding for busing. We need to start NOW to ensure that children can have the freedom to walk or bike to school. Please do everything you can to have your children participate in this event.
Information Source: Centerlines