October is such a great time of year.Everywhere I look lately, no matter what city or town I am visiting, I see more children and families walking and bicycling to school, the park, other destinations and just for fun.
International Walk to School Day (Wednesday, October 3) is being promoted everywhere you look too: from our new partnership and marketing campaign with Clif Kid, to newspapers across the country, to a promotion in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. An impressive 3,100 events around the country have already registered for Walk to School Day and hundreds of thousands students, parents, school officials and community leaders will hit the sidewalks and bike paths to celebrate the benefits of starting their day with a walk or ride to school!
In very exciting news, Kaiser Permanente recently announced that they will expand their existing partnership with the Safe Routes Partnership to bring walking and greater physical activity to school communities across the country.
Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated health care system, and the Safe Routes Partnership share goals around the importance of children, staff and parents improving health with walking and activity. The Safe Routes Partnership will develop a comprehensive program with web-based features and make it available to the more than 10,000 elementary and middle schools in the communities Kaiser Permanente serves and throughout the country. Key components of the program will include a partnership with the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA®), and focus on biannual motivating challenges targeting staff, students and their families and healthy fundraising alternatives.
Through this multi-year partnership with Kaiser Permanente we look forward to engaging students, staff, teachers and families in building healthier communities through more walking and physical activity.
As if that were not enough, Safe Routes to School is featured in an exciting new resource about the need to increase physical activity worldwide, which was produced by Nike, the American College of Sports Medicine and International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, Designed to Move.
Everywhere you look, more people are walking and bicycling, and communities are engaging in Safe Routes to School as a critical tool for both improving the built environment and engaging families in physical activity.
Enjoy International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 3. I encourage you to get outside, and walk or bicycle with kids to a local school. Everywhere you look, you’ll see smiling children, and it will be clearly evident how we’re working together to build a healthier future, one step at a time.