CHARLEVOIx – Charlevoix Middle School is encouraging students and their parents to crank up the walk and roll on Wednesday, September 19th – the first-ever Walk & Roll to School Day at Charlevoix Middle School. As part of International Walk to School Day, parents and other members of the community are invited to walk and bicycle to school with students, to celebrate health and safety and to experience the fun of walking and bicycling along the routes children use every day.
“Walking to school addresses many quality of life issues for students,” said Marilyn Lieber, President and CEO of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. “When students walk or bicycle to school using safe routes, they receive the physical activity needed for good health. They also learn valuable pedestrian and bicycle safety skills, lessons on the environment, and the importance of community.”
Charlevoix Middle School principal Travis Garrett has been instrumental in the school's participation in the international Safe Routes to School Program, and hopes Walk & Roll is here to stay.
“We hope to do one a month until it snows, and then pick up again in the spring, once a month,” Garrett said. “We are having our buses drop off kids at the bus garage, a little under a half mile away from the school. This way, all kids have a chance to walk, not just those who live in town.” Garrett explained that the kids will start the day in the school gym for a pep assembly to kick-start the Walk & Roll to School initiative, and police and fire departments will be on hand.
“The community has really pulled together with lots of donations to give away as prizes for students that have participated,” he added. “Revolution Bike Shop, DCL, Screenmasters and Latitude 45 have all donated prizes for the kids. The community has responded well, but the kids may be a bit leery at this point. The goal is to really pump them up on Wednesday with prizes and fun, to pave the way for future Walk & Roll to School days.”
A grant from the Charlevoix Community Foundation enabled Charlevoix Middle School to develop and implement a Safe Routes to School action plan. To learn more about Walk & Roll to School Day and Safe Routes to School, visit saferoutesmichigan.org.
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties.###