As the sun rose over Schultz Elementary School in Delaware Wednesday, dozens of students were joined by parents and a handful of pets as they walked to school as part of National Walk To School Day.
Wednesday was no different for Logan Ziegler, who walks to Schultz Elementary School every morning with his mother, Shelly, weather permitting. Shelly Ziegler said Logan had to ride the bus to school at their previous home, but since they moved to Delaware, they’ve walked as much as possible, bringing along their dog, Ella.
Likewise, students Mansu and Suri Singh regularly walk to Schultz and had to walk along with their mother, Nicole, Wednesday because their car was in the shop. Mansu added that he enjoys the walk to school.
According to the Delaware General Health District, the nationwide event raises awareness for the need to create safe walking and bicycling routes, and emphasizes the importance of physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. This year’s theme is “Be Safe, Be Seen.”
Susan Sutherland, a community health specialist with the Delaware General Health District, said by encouraging students to walk or bike to school, it helps to reinforce children’s traffic safety skills and creates and maintains safe places for children to walk within their neighborhoods.
Sutherland added that “Be Safe, Be Seen” is a great way to identify specific steps people can take to make our community more pedestrian friendly and promote the fact that children need regular physical activity to stay strong and healthy.
“(Be Safe, Be Seen will) encourage families to have and spend time together simply by walking — the easiest way to stay healthy,” Sutherland said. “Remind adults to drive safely in school zones by increasing the number of visible pedestrians or bicyclists, and decrease traffic congestion around schools, which can improve the air our children breathe.”
Schultz Principal Travis Woodworth said he appreciates the message and Walk to School Day.
“We really enjoy seeing everyone celebrate the Walk to School Day,” Woodworth said. “With the increased numbers of walkers and bikers to school, I greatly value the message of ‘Be Safe, Be Seen’ that is communicated to our students in addition to the connection to healthy lifestyles. We can never emphasize this enough, and it’s always great to see our parents who are able to participate as well.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.