The event, part of International Walk to School Month, “encourages students to walk and bike to school while teaching the health and environmental benefits of walking and biking,” according to the school system. Parents are also encouraged to participate.
In addition to encouraging walking and biking as part of a healthy lifestyle, Walk and Bike to School Day “raises community awareness about the importance of pedestrian safety education, safe routes to schools, well-maintained walkways, and traffic calming in neighborhoods and around schools.”
This year, McKinley Elementary School will serve as the public face of Walk and Bike to School Day. In recognition of the many students who walk to school at McKinley, Arlington Public Schools will be setting up refreshment stands and holding a before-school rally for McKinley students and parents.
The refreshment stands will be set up, starting at 8:30 a.m., at the intersection of N. 11th Street and N. Potomac Street, at 1030 N. McKinley Road and at 14th Street N. and N. Ohio Street (where buses will drop students off, to allow them to walk a couple of blocks to school).
The rally will take place at the school field at 8:45 a.m., and will feature McKinley administrators, PTA representatives, Arlington School Board Members, Arlington Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, Arlington County Board members, school transportation staff, crossing guards, police officers and Walk Arlington staff. Classes will start at 9:00 a.m., according to the school system.
“This is the 13th consecutive year that APS has participated in ‘International Walk or Bike to School Month,’ and since 1999, APS and Arlington County have worked together to create walk-friendly neighborhoods,” Arlington Public Schools said in a media advisory. “As part of this effort, materials have been produced for families with children attending Arlington Public Schools’ elementary and middle schools. These include maps and Web resources for county residents who want to walk or bicycle throughout the community.”