The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 17, 2010

Walk or bike to school on October 5

Walking or biking safely to school is the focus of the Carlisle School Association’s newly formed Walk-to-School Committee. The goal of the committee is to encourage fitness, enjoy Carlisle’s footpaths and appreciate nature as students walk to school. This fall’s first Walk-to-School day is scheduled for October 5. The committee plans to hold the event monthly, if possible, said committee member Nancy Shohet West.

The committee also includes Carlisle School Principal Patrice Hurley, Carlisle School PE Teacher Lynne Carmel, Pathways Committee Chair Deb Belanger and Carlisle School Assistant to the Superintendent Claire Wilcox. “We are very lucky to have school representation,” West said.

According to Belanger, more than 350 students participated in a similar walk held last year. Scheduling the walk day has to be carefully planned, said West. “We picked a day based on other events at school,” she explained. Wednesdays, which are fourth grade band days, are not ideal since students carry their instruments to school. Walkers or bike riders from the grade with the highest participation will win prizes. This year parents will be asked to supervise their own students as they walk to school. The committee decided to “shift resources to man the crosswalks,” said West. Volunteers are needed to assist at crossing Bedford Road and the library crosswalks.

Walking to school and observing nature could help students “appreciate what the town has to offer,” said West. “We have great pathways,” she added. Students living on side streets next to the footpaths can easily join in on the walks to school. One idea is to encourage parents to create a “walking school bus,” in which a group of students walk to school with adult supervision. ∆

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