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EGUSD elementary schools participate in Walk to School Day

Photo: Isabelle Jackson students pose with a sign they made especially for Walk to School Day.

Photo: Isabelle Jackson students pose with a sign they made especially for Walk to School Day.

Students throughout the district woke bright and early Wednesday, October 3, to participate in International Walk to School Day.

The popularity of the annual event at Elk Grove Unified Schools has steadily grown over the years. The program began at Elk Grove Unified in 2002 with one school participating, Foulks Ranch Elementary.  This year, 35 of the district’s 39 elementary schools participated in Walk to School Day. 

International Walk to School Day teaches students safe walking habits, such as walking to school with a friend and crossing at the crosswalk. It also helps promote safe walking routes to school and helps connect schools to their surrounding community. By encouraging students to walk or ride their bikes to school it promotes the health benefits of physical activity. 

“I’m pleased to see so many of our schools participate in this program with a number of different activities,” said L. Steven Winlock, Ed.D., associate superintendent of PreK-6  Education. “This event promotes healthy lifestyles through physical activity as well as vehicle and gasoline conservation.”

The first National Walk Our Children to School Day was started in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America. By 2002, International Walk to School Day had nearly 3 million participants in all 50 states.

Photo: Martin Fine, principal at Isabelle Jackson, celebrates with students on Walk to School Day.

Photo: Martin Fine, principal at Isabelle Jackson, celebrates with students on Walk to School Day.

“Walk to School Day is the perfect event to complement our district’s Wellness Policy,” said Martin Fine, principal at Isabelle Jackson. “It also gives us a chance to reinforce important safety rules our students should follow when they are traveling to and from school, as well as providing us another opportunity to build unity within our community.”

Parents and students from Isabelle Jackson Elementary School met at various locations throughout their neighborhood to make the trek to school. Students, wearing their red “Jackson Jaguars” t-shirts, held signs that read “Walk to School” and “Stop for Kids” as they walked along.

Members of the community also joined in on the Walk to School Day festivities.  Firefighters from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Station 51 as well as members of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department accompanied a large group of students to Isabelle Jackson.

Jackson students were greeted upon their arrival by school administrators and teachers who passed out Walk to School Day stickers.

Additional elementary schools throughout the district commemorated Walk to School Day with a variety of events:

  • At Arlene Hein Elementary, the school’s namesake – Arlene Hein – greeted students as they arrived on campus.
  • Students at Arthur C. Butler Elementary formed “walking school buses” which are groups of children accompanied by adults that walk to school together.  Students who walked were given “I walked to school today” stickers and received a raffle ticket for a drawing for Jamba Juice and Juice It Up Mugs.  Parents were treated to a continental breakfast in the multipurpose room.
  • At Carroll Elementary students were given “Walk to School Day” and “Bike to School Day” stickers.  The California Highway Patrol was on hand to present a safety assembly and passed out coloring books to students.
  • At Barbara Comstock Morse Elementary, volunteers were situated throughout the route to school wearing bright yellow “Barbara Comstock Morse Elementary School Event Leader” t-shirts.  These volunteers were recruited from parent meetings, PTA meetings and meetings with area businesses. 
  • John Ehrhardt Elementary took Walk to School Day a step further and turned it into Walk to School Week.  Students who walked or rode their bicycles to school received goodie bags from CSAA and Laguna Creek High School students also accompanied students to school.  A West Nile Virus Day is scheduled for Thursday to inform students how to protect themselves against the disease.

Photo: Isabelle Jackson student greets his fellow students with a friendly sign as they arrive on campus.

Photo: Isabelle Jackson student greets his fellow students with a friendly sign as they arrive on campus.

Photo: Isabelle Jackson student walks to school with her mom.

Photo: Isabelle Jackson student walks to school with her mom.

In support of the Elk Grove Unified Wellness Policy, CLIF Bar donated 14,000 ZBars to all participating school sites. CLIF Kid ZBars are made with wholesome organic ingredients. Each bar is low-fat, made with whole oats and contains 12 essential vitamins.

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