For Immediate Release
Students Using “Walking School Bus” in Redwood City
Redwood City, CA - May 19, 2011 - Regularly walking to school provides a lot of benefits to students and the community, including an increase in physical activity, enhanced safety, community engagement, reduced traffic, and decreased vehicle emissions. To provide a framework to encourage more kids to walk to school, earlier this year a partnership of the City of Redwood City, Redwood City 2020, and the Sequoia Healthcare District launched a “walking school bus” program at three schools in Redwood City, which has been met with enthusiasm, energy, and success. During the program, a combined estimate of nearly 100 students, along with parent volunteers, are participating, safely walking to school at least one day a week.
The walking school bus concept is comprised of parent volunteers accompanying a group of students in a walk to school along a specific, identified safe route, making scheduled stops along the way to allow students to join the “bus.” This is a way for students to walk to school safely and get some exercise, while it reduces vehicle traffic and offers a great opportunity for both students and parents to connect with their neighbors, the school, and the community.
With the guidance Redwood City 2020, Roy Cloud School launched their Walking School Bus program in March, and now celebrates “Fit Friday” every week with three chaperoned routes to school. Hoover School is currently piloting their program on Thursday mornings with one route, while Fair Oaks school has wrapped up their main program for the year but is already making plans to implement one during its “Kick-Off to Kinder” summer program, and continue with the full program in the fall.
This program is part of the Community Wellness Initiative of Redwood City 2020, which works to prevent avoidable health problems by encouraging students to increase their daily physical activity by walking to school. In the 2011/2012 school year Redwood City 2020 will continue to implement the walking school bus program and other Safe Routes to School measures. The schools which have participated this year will continue in the fall, and the program has a goal of expanding to include up to three additional Redwood City schools.
Redwood City 2020 is a healthy community partnership of nine organizations including the City of Redwood City, San Mateo County, Redwood City School District, and the Sequoia Healthcare District. More information on Redwood City 2020 is online at www.rwc2020.org.
Visit Redwood City’s website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s electronic newsletter or other City documents at www.redwoodcity.org/egov.
Pat Brown, Executive Director
Redwood City 2020