October 6, Walk to School Day is a Healthy and Fun Step for Colorado Kids and promotes CDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program

October 6, 2010 - Statewide (October 6, 2010) - Students from across Colorado celebrated International Walk to School Day. Today over 211 events were implemented statewide as a way to promote and inform children and parents about the benefits of safely walking and biking to school.

These events help to bring awareness of the importance of physical activity, safety, traffic reduction around schools, the environment and much more.  A list of participating Colorado schools can be found by visiting   www.walktoschool.org, click on Who’s Walking in the column on the left and then click on the state of Colorado.

Today, Colorado Department of Transportation’s SRTS Program Manager Lenore Bates handed out special Walk to School t-shirts to students participating in the Superior Elementary, “Shoot for the Moon” event where student’s accumulated steps that will collectively get them to the moon.  This celebration encouraged students to aim high, do one’s best and have lots of fun. Event detail can be found at http://bvsd.org/transportation/toschool/Pages/default.aspx.

The Colorado Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program coordinated by Lenore encourages schools to participate in special events as a way to promote healthy activities for their students.  SRTS is a comprehensive program that provides federal funding to local governments and communities, law enforcement, healthcare providers and educators whose programs are focused on K-8 grades that improve or make school routes safer for children when walking and bicycling.  A successful program involves the whole community and includes evaluation, encouragement, education, enforcement and engineering thus the ‘5E’s’.   SRTS Grant applications are currently being taken and are available at CDOT’s Web site, www.coloradodot.info .

International Walk to School Day gives children, parents, school teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event as they celebrate the many benefits of walking. In 2009, millions of walkers from around the world walked to school together for various reasons — all hoping to create communities that are safe places to walk.      In addition, Walk to School Day also allows organizers the ability to assess pedestrian or biking routes and to complete a required walk-ability and bike-ability checklist that provides information for future endeavors and is useful in creating a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program in their community.

Note to Media:    Portions of today’s ‘Walk to School’ event at Superior Elementary is shown at the following link.:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTqmF5PKbOg