Dozens of schools throughout Cumbria are encouraging children and their parents or carers to swap four wheels for two feet, and give walking, scooting or cycling a go during this year’s Walk to School Week (20 – 24 May).
Walk to School Week is a national campaign led by the ‘Living Streets’ charity, supporting over 320,000 pupils from thousands of schools across the UK to walk, scoot or cycle to school.
Cumbria County Council’s Active Travel team supports the national Walk to School campaign, and parents who walk find the journey to school less stressful, their fuel bills go down, their children perform better at school and their children feel healthier and fitter. Teachers also report that those pupils who walk to school are more attentive once they reach their desks.
Over 7,500 children and parents in Cumbria will be joining school pupils from all over the country to join in the celebrations by taking part in the five day walking, scooting and cycling challenge. The theme for 2019 focuses on the benefits of active travel in local communities. Children will take part in curriculum aligned activities which will encourage them to feel empowered to change their walking environment for the better. Through the fun wallcharts and stickers, children will work collaboratively to transform an unwelcoming and cluttered walking environment into the most walkable street imaginable.
Each day, KS1 pupils will be rewarded with a daily sticker and an extra special one at the end of the week. KS2 pupils will have the chance to earn their very own Walk to School Week pin badge made from recycled yoghurt-pot material.
Walking, scooting or cycling to school is a brilliant way to get active and healthy. It’s also a great opportunity for children to learn vital road safety skills and make sure they’re alert and ready to learn at the start of a new day.
Judith Aris, Cumbria County Council’s School Travel Officer, said: “Walk to School Week is always popular with Cumbrian schools – the focus is on fun, active travel and building daily exercise into the school journey. Schools find that their entrances and surrounding streets are less congested during drop off and pick up times, which improves air quality and provides a safer environment.”
Joe Irvin, Chief Executive of Living Streets, said: “Walking to school is an easy and free way for children to get active as part of a daily routine. Teachers confirm that pupils who walk to school are more alert, ready to learn and gain better grades than those who come by car.”