October is Colorado Pedestrian Month, and its first event is Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
As part of its Whole System – Whole Safety program, the Colorado Department of Transportation is encouraging schools throughout the state to participate in the annual event as a way of promoting and practicing pedestrian and road safety to and from school among classmates, families and caregivers. In addition, walking to school enhances visibility for transportation with legs.
Colorado Walk to School Day was established as part of the International Walk to School Day program in 1997. More than 40 countries participate, with children walking to school on the same day. In Colorado, more than 150 schools usually participate each year.
Communities across the state often take unique, creative approaches to marking the event.
“We are having 100 percent staff and student participation for Walk to School Day this year,” says Michelle Mueller, a physical education teacher at Beattie Elementary in Fort Collins. “We are having a whole-school one-mile Buddy Walk to start our day. Following the walk, the entire day is dedicated to wellness with six break-out sessions for students and staff to attend.”
Organizers are encouraged to register their school at #ColoradoWalkstoSchool as a way of tracking participation and showing support for active, healthy, and safe transportation. Registrations also assist Colorado’s ranking among other participating states.
New this year, a special training webinar series is being offered that is designed specifically for Walk to School Day organizers and participants. Recorded webinars on topics such as slowing down traffic near your school and promoting road safety will be posted as they become available at www.walkbiketoschool.org/webinarseries.
Visit the CDOT Safe Routes to Schools website at https://www.codot.gov/programs/bikeped/safe-routes for more ideas and resources.
Colorado Safe Routes to School is a statewide program of CDOT. It works to create and promote safe, accessible, and fun opportunities for kids to walk and bike to and from school.