October 9, 2013 is Walk and Roll to School Day in Chicago and around the world. The idea behind the day is to promote traveling to school on two feet or two wheels which has been found to help students focus their attention during the day, lead to a decrease in behavioral problems and improve grades
Throughout Chicagoland, schools will be holding rallies, assemblies, contests, and other events to show students, parents and teachers the simple joy that comes with walking and biking to school.
With the emphasis on safe passages, school speed cameras and the creation of a bike friendly environment in Chicago, the city is well aware of bike safety.
Despite all the benefits, many parents still find it challenging to incorporate walking or biking into their morning routine. Here are some tips from the Active Transportation Alliance for getting your students walking and biking to school not only on Walk and Roll to School Day but everyday.
- Reduce the distance if it’s too far to walk between home and school. Find a location one-quarter to one-half a mile from school that will allow you to park your car while you walk with your child.
- Count the miles you walk or bike. Many schools ask students to track the number of miles they walk each day. The winning student/classroom can compete to win a prize.
- Teach your kids traffic safety while walking and bicycling with them. Once students get older, they will be able to use that information and be safer when traveling.
- Work with other parents in your neighborhood to take turns leading the kids and organizing a “walking school bus” or a “bike train.”
- Use the time spent walking and biking to school to bond with your children.
- Make it fun. Organize a Walk and Roll to School Day on International Walk to School Day, or expand your efforts by starting “walking/biking Wednesdays.”
- Organize your efforts. If parents in surrounding neighborhoods are leading walking school buses or bike trains, map your routes and provide set meeting times for students to join.
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