As community leaders, we play a unique and important role in helping our children make healthy lifestyle choices for the future. Many organizations and volunteers participated in Walk to School Day on October 8th, 2008 which helped emphasize that physical activity, nutrition and safe walking is important for everyone – a critical message for children to learn.
We had 75% participation of Lillian Larsen Elementary students and great media coverage! (http://www.sloymca.org/documents/Tribune-WalktoSchool.pdf AND http://www.pasoroblespress.com/V2_news_articles.php?heading=0&page=72&story_id=2726.) The day started out with much enthusiasm as the kids met up with their walking groups around San Miguel. We have many community members to thank for that including the San Miguel Firefighters, Cuesta Softball Team, Camp Roberts Personnel and Firefighters among many others that walked with the kids to school that morning. The children loved the reusable grocery bags, jump ropes and beach balls they received for participating. Some kids have already been asking when it will be done again and the next Walk to School day has already been set for this winter! We hope to continue this kind of event during this school year through the recent connection we have made with the Safe Routes to School program in San Luis Obispo County.
Our walkability survey results brought attention to the need for sidewalks and for drivers to practice caution by driving safe speeds in San Miguel. We are so pleased to inform you that the Lillian Larsen school board has pushed the search for a crossing guard at the 16th and Mission cross streets as a direct result of Walk to School Day. They are in the process of conducting interviews! Walk to School Day was a great opportunity for the entire community to come together in support of children’s health and they are overwhelmingly responsible for the success of Walk to School Day! We definitely look forward to working with their wonderful, supportive community in the future!
Volunteers that have been helping organize have come from: the San Miguel Resource Connection, Public Health Department, HEAL-SLO, San Miguel Fire Department, Heritage Oaks Bank, San Miguel PTO, and faculty/the principal from Lillian Larsen Elementary. We are also expecting army members from Camp Roberts and the local firemen to walk with the kids in the morning. A CHP will be parked on Mission Street that morning to remind drivers to use caution while passing through San Miguel because of the many kids that reside there.
Financial Contributors: The Community Foundation, HEAL-SLO, Lillian Larsen, Heritage Oaks Bank, San Miguel Resource Connection, SLO Public Health Department, Walmart, Food4Less, Spencers (Atascadero), Trader Joes (Templeton), Target (Paso Robles), Sears (Paso Robles), Central Coast Water Company, and PTO of San Miguel.
Our reason for doing this event was to:
- ● Increase physical activity in students, which can combat a host of health problems facing kids today.
- ● Replace car trips to school with walking or bicycling which can help reduce air pollution.
- ● Emphasize the importance for safe sidewalks, crosswalks, railroad crossing and other walking paths around San Miguel.
If you have any other questions about this event, please do not hesitate to contact Vanessa Adame with the Public Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-788-2718.