Some 60 Perry Elementary School students took a detour from their usual Friday morning Walking School Bus routine to participate in Wednesday’s National Walk to School Day.
About 5,300 schools registered nationwide for the National Walk to School Day, including 23 Iowa schools. The Perry Elementary School was the only Dallas County school participating this year.
Four Ankeny elementary schools, four De Witt elementary schools and a scattering of other Iowa community schools participated.
“The kids received a sneaker keychain and a book featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog going on a walk,” said Misty VonBehren, coordinator of the Perry Elementary School’s Walking School Bus.
VonBehren said the fall session of the Walking School Bus will continue until the Friday before Thanksgiving break.
October is National Walk to School Month, with more than 5,200 events around the country celebrating the benefits and fun of walking to school.
“This is the kind of energy that leads to lasting change for communities,” VonBehren said.
The Walking School Bus and National Walk to School Day are programs of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, which is “committed to empowering communities to make walking and bicycling to school a safe, appealing, preferred choice for families,” according to the center’s website. Their aim is “to promote safe walking and bicycling and to eliminate fatal and serious traffic crashes.”
The National Center for Safe Routes to School receives support from the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, which manages data for the Federal Highway Administration’s Highway Safety Information System (HSIS).
This is the fourth year the Perry Elementary School has participated in the Walking School Bus program.