Heritage Primary and Green Tree Elementary in the Wentzville School District joined schools from around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day.
Dozens of Heritage Primary students, parents and staff walked from Fireman’s Park to their school with an escort from the Wentzville Police Department on October 5. On October 6, more than 300 students from Green Tree walked to school from Boulevard Park along with parents, teachers, family pets and staff members.
This marks the seventh 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. Community Resource Officer Susan Ochs has helped to organize the walk every year and is happy that this event has become a tradition.
“The primary benefit is getting our community together,” said Officer Ochs. “It gets kids outside, promotes pedestrian safety and it’s an opportunity for parents and kids to have a good time together on their way to school.”
Now in its 20th year, International Walk to School Day is celebrated at more than 5,000 participating schools in 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.
A representative from Safe Kids St. Louis was also on hand at the Green Tree event.
“Many people today live a sedentary lifestyle and childhood obesity is a growing concern,” shared Lori Winkler, Safety Coordinator for Safe Kids St. Louis and Injury Prevention Nurse Coordinator for Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. “Walk to School is a great opportunity to promote safety with kids and adults alike so we can reduce pedestrian tragedies.”