Students and Parents across NJ Participate in iWalk Month
In October, children, parents, teachers and community leaders around the world participated in International Walk to School (iWalk) Month. iWalk events took place in 42 countries to promote walking to school and creating safe places to walk and bike. Students at 67 New Jersey schools were among more than 2,000 schools throughout the nation to celebrate iWalk Month. The number of New Jersey schools registered with the national iWalk web site and participating in events has steadily increased from 11 schools in 2003. See Chart below.
- Glen Rock (Bergen County) held its first walk-to-school event this year when students created their own walk-to-school posters featuring clever slogans.
- In Hohokus (Bergen County), students in Kindergarten through 5th grade designed T-shirts to wear on Walk-to-School Day. Grades 6 through 8 competed to have the most students walking to school, with the winning homeroom receiving a special lunch and additional recess time.
- The local DARE police officer in Point Pleasant (Ocean County) joined students and parents for a nutritious kick-off breakfast and walk to school.
- In Garfield (Bergen County), it was “crazy hat day” for students who participated in a Walking School Bus, joining at stops along a designated route. During the school day, the students decorated their sneakers which were then hung around the school to show how many had walked to school.
- In Manville and Somerville (Somerset County), RideWise Transportation Management Association helped organize sponsorships from area businesses that donated prizes given away in goody bags. The Somerset Patriots Baseball Team, Starbucks Coffee, Wegmans, PNC Wealth Management, Learning Express,
National Geographic Society and Candy Bouquet all donated items.
- In Montclair Township (Essex County), organizers from the District Health and Wellness Partnership, Bike Montclair and the local YMCA combined resources to run events at eight of the ten elementary and middle schools. According to Bike Montclair, “having several organizations come to the table to plan the events helped to distribute the amount of work any one person would have taken on.” Building on the success of the events in October, several schools are now running monthly walk-to-school days.
- For the October 2007 iWalk month, Montclair (Essex County) and Ridgewood (Bergen County) tied for the most number of schools participating in one municipality.
iWalk events are designed to be fun ways to get kids and their parents walking. When planning next year’s iWalk event, be sure to reach out to your community through newspaper articles, web postings and mailings, as well as flyers home to parents. To find out more, visit: http://www.walktoschool.org/
Get Up and Go
Get Up and Go is a new series of curriculum-based Safe Routes to School (SRTS) activities that teachers can use in their classrooms to teach students how to walk and bike safely to school. Funded by the City of Garfield with The Record's Newspaper In Education (NIE) program, the eight-part series originally ran in The Record and Herald News newspapers this fall. Get Up and Go features writing and math activities as well as puzzles, interesting facts and web resources designed to teach lessons on physical fitness, traffic safety, student security issues, and bicycle and pedestrian safety.
For example, in “On the Move,” the second set of activities in the series, students