Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vienna parents organize Safe Routes to School challenge

Several parents in Vienna are helping to organize Safe Routes to School programs in their schools. Louise Archer Elementary School has held Safe Routes events for the past several years, lead by the efforts of John Sweeney. They received a grant for SRTS plan development and implementation in 2007, to our knowledge, the only time a Fairfax County school has received such funding.

This year several other Vienna schools will participate in walk/bike events:
Louise Archer Elementary, Marshall Road Elementary, Vienna Elementary, and Wolftrap Elementary schools will be participating in the 2009 Walk and Bike to School Challenge (scheduled for May 11 through May 15). In the future, we hope to expand this event to include all Vienna elementary schools.

During the week of the Challenge, we encourage all students (and their parents) to walk or bike to school. In addition to the obvious benefits of walking and biking – improved health and reduced traffic congestion – parents and children often get a chance to socialize with friends and neighbors.

Safe Routes to School is an international movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to school. Safe Routes to School provides a variety of important benefits to kids and their communities, including improved health, reduced traffic congestion, better air quality, and enhanced neighborhood safety. Finally, this movement is part of the solution for the alarming nationwide trend toward child obesity and inactivity.

The Vienna-wide effort was spearheaded by Jeff Anderson (Wolftrap), Amy Byrne (Marshall Road), Tara MacCall (Vienna Elementary), and John Sweeney (Louise Archer).
I recently passed by Louise Archer ES when school was letting out and it's impressive to see so many kids walking and biking to school. Shouldn't all Fairfax kids be able to safely walk and bike to school?

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