NE students walk to school for IWTS Day

Posted October 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm


Northeast News
October 16, 2013


Crosswalk safety. Two Gladstone Elementary youngsters safely use the crosswalk Oct. 9 during International Walk to School Day (IWTS). IWTS reported a 21 percent uptick in school participation in the Kansas City metro. James Elementary School also participated. Leslie Collins

Students and their families from across the Kansas City metro walked to school on Wednesday, Oct. 9, as part of International Walk to School Day (IWTS). More than 40 area schools participated, including two in Northeast: Gladstone Elementary and James Elementary. This year’s participation was up by 21 percent.

Walk to School Day aims to stress the importance of creating safe routes for children to walk and bicycle to schools. These events also help emphasize positive benefits of walking – creating a sense of community, increasing physical activity and using alternative modes of transportation to driving. According to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, private vehicles are often used to transport students to schools, even for short distances of one-quarter to one-half of a mile.

Area schools, along with more than 4,000 elementary schools across the U.S., held special events on Oct. 9 and throughout the week to celebrate IWTS Day.

“Walking or bicycling are enjoyable activities that allow young students time for physical activity and socialization and help build a sense of responsibility,” said Aaron Bartlett, senior transportation planner at the Mid-America Regional Council. “It allows kids to get outdoors and interact with friends, parents and neighbors. The entire community benefits when there is less traffic congestion around schools at peak travel times.”