Ohio Walks to School for Walk to School Day!

Kate MoeningInternational Walk to School Day was celebrated on October 3, and all of October is designated as Walk to School Month. Nationally, more than 4,200 schools have registered events on the International Walk and Bike to School (IWALK) website, a 10 percent increase over last year! Ohio is well represented with 69 schools – highlights include:

- Clif Kid/Walk to School Day kits were offered to schools by Clif Kid and the Safe Routes Partnership – Ohio schools received 63 of the 700 kits distributed nationwide.  Supplies included a banner, reflective stickers, educational material and 250 Clif Kid snacks

- Chagrin Falls was presented with the James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award, the highest honor a Safe Routes to School program can earn, during their Walk to School Day event on October 19.  Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, presented this honor to hundreds of students, families, dignitaries and business supporters

- Madison Elementary School in Painesville Township  had 150 of the schools 340 kids walk to school at their first ever Walk to School Day event on October 4. Spearheaded by local parent, (and former student) Josh Pennock, the event grew with support from local businesses, school staff and parents and highlights the corridor improvements to be funded by the Township’s Safe Routes to School award from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

- Lincoln Elementary School in Gahanna, Ohio, exceeded expectations – 89 percent of their student body traveled to school in their walking school bus on October 3. More than 30 students from Gahanna Middle School South, many graduates of Lincoln, participated as mentors, walking with students and educating on safe walking practices.

Ohio has 69 schools registered on the IWALK website this year, down from 87 in 2011. But it’s not too late to register your school, even if you’ve already completed your event – just visit the IWALK website to have your event counted, and check out their great resources!

To keep in touch with walking and bicycling information, programs and resources in Ohio, “like” the Ohio network page on Facebook. If you like what you see and want to be a part of policy change, advocacy and community development in Ohio, join the network by emailing Kate Moening, Ohio advocacy organizer at kate@saferoutespartnership.org.

Next up: May is International Bike to School Month, and the official day is May 8, 2013!