VIRGINIA CELEBRATES NATIONAL WALK TO SCHOOL DAY OCTOBER 5
More than 250 Events Expected at Elementary and Middle Schools in Virginia
RICHMOND, Va. – Children in communities across Virginia and the country will lace up their walking shoes to celebrate the twentieth annual International Walk to School Day (WTSD) on October 5.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), which administers the Federal Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) in the Commonwealth, saw 282 Virginia schools take part in the celebration last year. That was the largest recorded participation in Virginia since the Commonwealth first held a WTSD event in 2007. More than 215 schools have already registered events for this year and participation is expected to grow throughout October, which is International Walk to School Month.
Each year, the Virginia SRTS Program sees Walk to School celebrations in all shapes and sizes. “The best part is the creative ways the communities choose to celebrate their active and healthy commute to school,” said Rob Williams, VDOT’s Safe Routes to School coordinator.
Events can be registered online at www.walkbiketoschool.org. For additional information, please contact Robert Williams at 804-371-4868, or visit the following websites:
- VDOT Safe Routes to School Program: www.virginiadot.org/saferoutes
- Walk to School Day in the USA: www.walkbiketoschool.org
- National Center for Safe Routes to School: www.saferoutesinfo.org
About Safe Routes to School
- VDOT manages the statewide Safe Routes to School Program, providing funding, technical assistance and other resources to local communities to encourage safe walking and biking to school.
- Since 2007, VDOT has awarded over $24 million in funding to more than 600 schools in Virginia for Safe Routes to School activities.
- Walk to School Day was established in the U.S. in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America. Canada and Great Britain already had walk to school programs in place. In 2000, these three countries joined together to create International Walk to School Day.
- In May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School was established to assist communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school.
- The National Center for Safe Routes to School serves as the national coordinating agency for Walk to School activities in the United States.
- Walk to School Day began as a simple idea – children and parents, school and local officials walking to school together on a designated day. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the simple joy of walking to school, the health benefits of regular daily activity, and the need for safe places to walk and bike. Schools focus on health, safety, physical activity and concern for the environment.
Organizations supporting Bike to School Day in the United States include the League of American Bicyclists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Highway Administration, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Safe Kids Worldwide, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.