Monday, September 28, 2009

International Walk to School Day

International Walk to School Day is Wednesday, October 7th.

DeKalb County recently was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Georgia Dept. of Transportation for Safe Routes to School infrastucture improvements. I'm sure the DeKalb County School System is hosting a large number of Walk to School Day events on Oct. 7th. Please share your school's plans in the comments section below.

The day before, on Tuesday, October 6th, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Decatur is hosting our 2nd Annual Walk to School Day Pep Rally, with games, music, prizes and special guests on the Decatur Square.

This link leads to a nice audio article on "walking school buses".

"Florida Town Tries Walking School Bus Project"

The iconic big yellow school bus is getting some competition from sneakers and sandals as a new way to get to class at Belcher Elementary in Largo, Fla. Kids and parents are teaming up in surrounding neighborhoods and walking to school together. The initiative aims to promote the healthier option of walking for both parents and children, while cutting down on vehicular traffic at the school.

Here's some more in on Safe Routes to School:

Sent in by Dan Magee


Anonymous said...

Walking and bicycling to school is very important, especially for middle schoolers. I really, really wished the county Transportation Dept. worked much closer with the school system.

Remember the mess when the elementary student was struck and killed in front of a school where the principal stated she had requested a light, and no one from DCSS worked with the county to make it happen? The school system Transportation Dept. has very high salaried administrators. They can do much better with providing safe walking and bike routes to our schools.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure DCSS is sponsoring Walk to School Day events? There's nothing at my elem or middle. One would think that the school system's transportation Dept. would be all over this if they just got a half-million dollars from the satte for Safe Routes.

Cerebration said...

Does anyone have anything to report on Walk to School Day at your school? Does anyone know what the half mil was spent on? I believe Vanderlyn spent some grant money on a walk to school/sidewalk program - but wasn't that from a difference funding source?

This is not my area of expertise. My teenagers wouldn't be caught walking anywhere... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Cerebration...I think that was Kingsley, not Vanderlyn.

Cerebration said...

thank you. anyone know the details?

Paula Caldarella said...

Here's Kingsleys program:

Anonymous said...

From what I understand, sone individual schools are having events, but the DCSS Transportation Dept., with a bunch of administrators making well over $100,000 per year despite more and more students being drivien to school by their parents, is not having any system-wide programs.

You would think the DCSS Transportation Dept. would be all over this considering they got so much from the state for Safe Routes.

Cerebration said...

Here's an article from the just-published Sept edition of Kaleidoscope - the new newsletter published by DCSS.

Oak Grove Promotes Safe Routes to School
Oak Grove Principal Charlene Burger says that on a typical day, about 75 of the school’s 640 students walk to school. On “Walking Wednesdays,” more than 200 children participate in the program and that number has since continued in growth.

Anonymous said...

The PTA at my child's school is stepping up and having a Walk to School Day event. Kind of sad it's not system-wide and up to the principals and PTA's, if the principals didn't already have enough on their plate. What do all those executives in the DCSS Transportation Dept. do all day?

Cerebration said...

oh! I just found an article we had already posted about the Walk to Schools grant at the time it was awarded... it's amazing what's in the archives of this blog when you go digging...

DeKalb County obtains Safe Routes to School Grant

Anonymous said...

What a coincidence. The State Transportation Bd. member for District 4 is Robert Brown, who is a buddy of Crawford's and has been the architect for DCSS projects like the 9 million, er, 21 million SW DeKalb High reno. Nice to see Robert bring some state money back to the school system considering the contracts the system gave him. Quid pro quo. It's the DeKalb way.

Anonymous said...

Looks like school PTA's are stepping up. Also looks like the DCSS Transportation Dept., David Guillory and his other buddies all making well over $100k per year, haven't done diddly for Walk to School Day. Not surprisisng but still disappointing.

Laurel Ridge Elementary is participating in Walk To School Day, Wednesday, October 7th

Join family and friends on a walk to school!! Its fun, it's healthy, and you will be rewarded with cool surprises...

Volunteer Crossing Guards will be at the corners of:
Mt. Olive & Harcourt
Mt. Olive & Balsam
Balsam & Laurel Ridge
Blueberry Trail
Mistletoe & Mt. Olive

Volunteers will be at corners from 7:30 a.m. to 7:50 a.m.!!

If you do not live in the neighborhood, do not worry, you can park in the Sharmrock Plaza shopping center near Publix and walk from there.

Don't forget, the bell rings at 7:55 a.m. sharp!!

Anonymous said...

Safe Routes to School: Schools and Local Government Working Together
2 to 3 pm, Monday Dec 7th

This webinar will highlight Safe Routes to School programs in two communities, and include an update on federal legislation affecting Safe Routes to School funding.
This one-hour webinar will provide two case studies on establishing school/city partnerships to improve local Safe Routes to School initiatives and the specific policies that support that work.

Speakers will discuss funding, partnerships and overcoming challenges to successfully implement Safe Routes to School programming in their communities.

There will also be an update on the federal legislation that funds Safe Routes to School.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering . . . considering that the state provides an incentive to counties to have larger schools, e.g. >= 450 students per elementary school, doesn't that cause counties to define larger attendance areas per school, and therefore make it possible for fewer students to walk to school?

With no traffic, I know that we live a solid 12-15 minute drive away from my kids' school, and there is no way that I would ever let them walk there. It would take me an hour each way, and my legs are much longer than theirs are!

Anonymous said...

Yes Anon 7:48. The State Board of Ed only supports bus transportation, and has no involvement with the millions of federal money for Safe Routes. The State Dept. of Transportation has virtually no interaction with the state Dept. of Education for Safe Routes.

If you think the county BOE is bad, you've never seen the state Board of Ed in action.

Dan Magee said...

Georgia Walk to School Day is Wednesday, March 3rd. Abby Mattera is the GDOT School Outreach Coordinator for Metro Atlanta,,

Here's a great free webinar for parents, elected officials, county transportation staff and school administrators:

School Bicycle & Walking Policies: Addressing Policies that Hinder & Implementing Policies that Help

As key partners in Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs, schools and school districts can play a big role in establishing a culture of bicycling and walking to school. School policies that encourage and support bicycling and walking can substantially boost a SRTS program, both within individual schools and throughout the community. In contrast, a policy that discourages or prohibits bicycling or walking can stop a SRTS program in its tracks. While SRTS programs are developing and flourishing in many communities around the country, some communities are discovering barriers to active transportation due to school policies. This webinar will address overcoming such barriers and developing policies that promote bicycling and walking.

Our four presenters will provide participants with an overview of recent research regarding policy barriers, discuss the experience of Murch Elementary School in successfully changing policies, provide information on resources and model policies.

This webinar is part of the Safe Routes to School Webinar Series, developed by America Walks and the National Center for Safe Routes to School. For more information please contact Michelle Gulley, at