Some of the students at Lancaster Drive Public School will take an unusual bus to school tomorrow.
Instead of the traditional yellow-orange four-wheeler most are used to, students will take a ride to school on the walking school bus, a program developed through Active and Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) Canada.
Trained students lead other students to school on pre-designated routes. Statistics from Green Communities Canada show that active transportation to school has significantly declined over the past 25 years.
Where 80 percent of children from grades 3 and up used to walk to school, less than 50 percent of Canadian children now rely solely on active modes of transportation to and from school.
“Walking or using any form of active transportation to school is a great way to be physically active,” said Linda Malcolm, public health nurse with KFL&A Public Health.
Malcolm went on to say, “Choosing active transportation such as walking or cycling is an excellent way to increase daily physical activity in children and youth in a society where inactivity rates are at a level that is cause for great concern. They greatly reduce the traffic congestion around our schools and promote a safer and healthier alternative. Walking school buses also promote social interaction, safety, and are environmentally friendly.”
The program through Lancaster Drive Public School uses grade 6 to 8 students to lead their peers on one of three mapped walking routes to the school every Thursday.
KFL&A Public Health staff have accompanied students on the routes and will be on-site to launch the program on Thursday, October 14, 2010
Photo (Walking School Bus in Columbia, Missouri) by MoBikeFed