After Accidents, Walk to School Day Will Highlight Safety

from the Mamaroneck Schools

(October 2, 2008) As part of Larchmont-Mamaroneck’s Safe Routes to School Initiative, all four elementary schools in the Mamaroneck School District (Central, Chatsworth Avenue, Mamaroneck Avenue, and Murray Avenue) will join schools from around the globe to participate in International Walk to School Day on October 8, 2008. This year’s Walk to School Day comes just a few weeks after two Hommocks students were struck by cars following school dismissal, but not on school property. (See: Two Hommocks Students Hit By Cars; Traffic Safety Stressed.)

What’s Happening - Walk to School Week

October 1: Mamaroneck Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe issued a proclamation for International Walk to School Day at the Town Board Meeting

At Mamaroneck Avenue School:

October 2, 6 pm: Walk to School Week celebration begins with a kick-off at Mamaroneck Avenue School’s annual family and staff picnic starting at 6 p.m. George Latimer will issue a proclamation.

Oct 6-10: Children will fill out a chart indicating which days they walked, bicycled or carpooled to school. All children who participate will be entered into a raffle. One grand prize winner will receive a new pair of sneakers.

Oct 6: Walking Teachers will join children as they walk to school from Harbor Heights, Heathcote Hill, Washingtonville, and downtown Mamaroneck Avenue. Other teachers will be posted on various corners outside of the school. MAS principal Carrie Amon and assistant principal Alice Borsella will be joining the teachers to greet walkers.

To participate, contact sodierna@optonline.net

At Murray Avenue School:

Oct 7-10 Parent volunteers will be stationed at 5 spots outside school to hand out giveaways to children who walk or bike.

October 6- 10: Every classroom will have a “Walkers of the Week” poster. Parent volunteers will hand out stickers to children who walk or bike; the stickers will go on the posters. Thre will be recognition of classes with the most walkers each day and by the week.

To participate, contact sarahcoady@verizon.net .

At Chatsworth Avenue School

October 2: A “density” map of the Chatsworth community has been posted which depicts where our students are clustered. See where you can join a walking school bus.

October 6-10: “Frequent Walker/Bicyclist” punch cards will be distributed to each child. The children will get a punch each time they walk to or from school. A completed punch card will be turned in for a Safe Routes to School sticker.

To participate contact lizfitz1@verizon.net

At Central School

September 26: Youth Officer Bob Reynolds visited classrooms to instruct students on pedestrian safety. A map highlighting safe crossings is now displayed in the main office.

October 6-10: Six walking school buses have been organized from different neighborhoods. Families living just too far away to walk can drop off at Mamaroneck High School.

October 6-10: Principal Carol Houseknecht and assistant principal Edgar McIntosh will lead the walking school bus from Mamaroneck High School to Central each day.

October 6-10: Teachers will be stationed on the main walking routes to cheer on the walkers.

October 6-10: Children who walk, bike, carpool, or bus to school will receive a sticker to be placed on a classroom poster. Classes with a high number of participants will be recognized over morning announcements.

To participate contact kimlarsen@optonline.net.

“Student safety remains a significant concern, as several serious incidents have occurred over the last few months,” says Dr. Paul Fried, Superintendent, Mamaroneck Public Schools. “Walk to School Day presents another opportunity to reiterate the importance of observing safe pedestrian practices for students and safe driving precautions for parents.”

In the U.S., International Walk to School Day is expected to include 5,000 schools from all 50 states. Walkers from the U.S. will join children and adults in 40 countries around the world.

In fact, the Mamaroneck Union Free School District has deemed October 6 – 10 “Walk to School Week.” All elementary-aged children in the district (about 2,400) will be encouraged to walk, bike or carpool to school each day that week. Special activities associated with the event include walking school buses, giveaways, teacher greeters, and parent/child safety pledges.

Walk to School Day began as a simple idea – children and parents, school and local officials walking to school together on a designated day. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the simple joy of walking to school, in addition to the safety and health messages it conveys.

The event is being organized by the elementary schools’ PTA organizations. The Larchmont/Mamaroneck Safe Routes to School Committee has provided information and guidance to the schools with the hope that Walk to School Week will highlight the health benefits of regular daily physical activity among children, the need for pedestrian safety, the dangers of traffic congestion, concern for the environment, and the positive impact of building connections between families, schools and the broader community.

For additional information, please visit these Web sites: International Walk to School in the USA, www.walktoschool.org; National Center for Safe Routes to School, www.saferoutesinfo.org; International Walk to School, www.iwalktoschool.org.