The morning of Wednesday, Oct. 5, a large number of children, parents and staff of Indian Creek Elementary School walked and biked to school. Why? It was International Walk to School Day.
The day’s goal is to stress the importance of safe ways for children to walk or bike to and from school. Safe routes involve plenty of good sidewalks and crosswalks, as well as drivers who observe the speed limit and stay alert.
“Walking and biking safety is vital for Clarkston’s Indian Creek school since it’s at the corner of two busy roads,” said S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A., director of the DeKalb County Board of Health. “Plus, it’s the county’s most ethnically diverse elementary school. This poses a challenge to communicating the importance of using the sidewalks and crosswalks and obeying the crossing guards.”
The International Walk to School Day event brings together several Board of Health initiatives. Safe Routes to School strives to increase education about and improve conditions for walking and biking to school. Safe Kids DeKalb works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the top cause of death and disability for children ages one to 14. The Strategic Alliance for Health seeks to increase childhood physical activity and decrease obesity.
Janet Weisman, injury prevention coordinator at the Board of Health, emphasizes, “The recent walk to school event reminds the driving community to slow down, hang up and respect school crossing guards. To encourage children to walk or bicycle to school, we need the sidewalks, crosswalks and appropriate signs. Drivers should remember that pedestrians — of all ages — have the right of way in a crosswalk. It’sGeorgialaw that drivers must stop.”
DeKalbCounty’s 2011 International Walk to School Day sponsors were Indian Creek Elementary School, the DeKalb County School System, FedEx Express and the Board of Health.
For more information, contact Janet Weisman, injury prevention coordinator, DeKalb County Board of Health, at (404) 294-3719.