Students from Green Tree Elementary and Heritage Primary joined schools around the world to celebrate the 22nd annual International Walk to School Day.
Escorted by the Lake Saint Louis Police Department, Green Tree staff members, as well as parents and family pets, more than 300 students from Green Tree walked to school from Boulevard Park on October 11.
Originally scheduled for October 10, Heritage Primary’s walk to school was postponed until October 17. On that brisk morning, over 100 Heritage Primary students, parents and staff walked safely from Fireman’s Park on West Pearce Boulevard to their school, escorted by officers from the Wentzville Police Department.
This marks the ninth year Green Tree has partnered with the Lake Saint Louis Police Department to celebrate International Walk to School Day which was originally organized as part of a “Safe Routes to School” grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation. Lake Saint Louis Community Resource and DARE Officer Susan Ochs has helped to organize the walk every year and is happy that this event has become a tradition. “This is a great event to bring the community together, build school spirit, and encourage our students to be safe,” Officer Ochs said. “What started out nine years ago as a Safe Routes to School project has developed into a great partnership between the school, police and community.”
International Walk to School Day is celebrated at over 4,400 participating schools in the United States, in addition to students from more than 40 countries around the world. Walk to School events work to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.
“It’s a great community collaboration to promote health and promote pedestrian safety,” said Lori Winkler, Safety Coordinator for Safe Kids St. Louis and Injury Prevention Nurse Coordinator for SSM/Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. This year, students received reflective bracelets to help them be more visible on the road – especially with Halloween approaching.
“We’re trying to help keep these kids safe, and make sure they’re following the rules of the road.”