Jenny O’Quinn 804-357-6017
Jeff Stapleton 804-371-6026
Oct. 9, 2018
ANNUAL WALK TO SCHOOL DAY SET FOR OCT. 10
VDOT’s Safe Routes to School program awards more than $900,000 to schools
RICHMOND, Virginia – In an effort to promote wellness and safe pedestrian connectivity near schools, students across Virginia will be walking to school during the 12th annual Walk to School Day (WTSD), which takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 10. This year, more than 350 schools are participating in a WTSD activity surpassing last year's record of 326 events. More are expected to join throughout October.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) administers the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, and coordinates WTSD activities in the Commonwealth. The level of participation in WTSD in the state has risen consistently every year since 2009. Over the last few years, Virginia has ranked in the top five in the country for participation. Schools participate in WTSD to encourage walking to school, safe pedestrian skills and kick off a SRTS program for the school year.
“I’ve been involved in Walk to School Day for almost 10 years now and continue to be impressed and proud of the growth of participation across the state,” said Rob Williams, VDOT’s Safe Routes to School coordinator. “For those who aren’t sure whether it’s worth walking past your car or bus stop – give it a try, you won’t regret it.”
Sixteen organizations and more than 400 schools will receive SRTS non-infrastructure grants this year. Non-infrastructure grants can be used to fund SRTS education, encouragement, evaluation and enforcement programs, as well as local SRTS coordinators. See the list of recipients on VDOT’s website.
You can register for events online at www.walkbiketoschool.org. For additional information, visit the following websites:
- VDOT Safe Routes to School Program: www.virginiadot.org/saferoutes
- Walk to School Day in the USA: http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/
- National Center for Safe Routes to School: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/
- Plan a Walk To School Day activity: http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/plan/event-ideas/
About Safe Routes to School
- Since 2007, VDOT has awarded over $24 million in funding to more than 600 schools in Virginia for Safe Routes to School activities.
- Walk to School Day was established in the U.S. in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America. Canada and Great Britain already had walk to school programs in place. In 2000, these three countries joined together to create International Walk to School Day.
- In May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School was established to assist communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school.
- The National Center for Safe Routes to School serves as the national coordinating agency for Walk to School activities in the United States.
- 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, the health benefits of regular daily activity and the need for safe places to walk and bike. Schools focus on health, safety, physical activity and concern for the environment.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.