MOUNT PLEASANT, IA – Healthy Henry County Communities (HHCC) has taken the lead to organize a celebration of walking or biking to school on Wednesday. Each of the elementary schools in the Mt. Pleasant Community District are planning to celebrate International Walk to School Day on October 9 with awareness events at Salem, Van Allen, Lincoln and Harlan Elementary Schools.
HHCC Coordinator Kelly Carr said future plans call for the formal development of Walking School Bus programs throughout the county. “These individual walks or bike rides to school we hope will begin to draw awareness to the issues of encouraging physical activity at a young age, safe travel to and from school, and promoting concern for the environment,” Carr said.
Students will be encouraged to walk or bike to school if it is feasible for families or neighborhood children. If adult leaders are available to walk or ride with the students, that enhances the safety aspects of the routes to and from school, Carr noted.
When the students arrive at their schools a school staff member and community volunteer will greet them, talk about their smart choice of walking or biking to school, and distribute small rewards for their efforts.
The planning for these special events in the Mt. Pleasant Community School District aligns with the Community Transformation Grant which promotes increased walkability and bike-ability in communities.
In the U.S., International Walk to School Day is expected to be celebrated at over 3,500 events at participating schools. Walk to School events work to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.
The mission of Healthy Henry County Communities is working together to make Henry County a better place to live, work and raise a family. For additional local information about Walk to School Day or if you are interested in helping form a Walking School Bus program at your school, please contact Kelly Carr at 385-6523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.