Arlington, Texas – Students across the Dallas-Fort Worth area are encouraged to forego the bus or the carpool line on October 2 in favor of a more active and fun way of getting to school. For those who can, that means pounding the pavement with their own two feet during National Walk to School Day.
More than 75 North Texas schools plan to participate, according to www.walkbiketoschool.org
, a resource to help schools and their students organize efforts to celebrate this annual event.
In the Fort Worth Independent School District, for example, members of the city council plan to join students at two of the campuses participating, Daggett Montessori School and Tanglewood Elementary School.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments is providing school districts with free student giveaways and resources for organizing walk-to-school efforts through its Safe Routes to School Program, which works to improve safety and encourage more students to walk or ride their bikes to school.
Walking to school can include the following benefits:
- Encourage students to be healthier
- Reduce traffic congestion around schools
- Improve air quality
- Teach students about traffic safety
- Focus attention on ways to enhance safety
- Build stronger school-community relationships
While walking is highlighted one day a year, students are encouraged to continue opting for active ways to get to school after Oct. 2. Resources are available at www.nctcog.org/saferoutestoschool
. Continued investment in Safe Routes to School projects such as improved sidewalks and crosswalks could motivate more students throughout the region to walk or ride their bikes to school.
Walk to School Day has been celebrated in the US since 1997. In 2000, it became international, when the US joined with Canada and Great Britain, which already had celebrations of their own, for the first ever International Walk to School Day to encourage more students to participate. The event brings together students, their parents, schools and public officials to celebrate walking, promote healthy behaviors, and galvanize support for safety improvements.
About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication and make joint decisions.
NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered in the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 238 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 22 school districts and 31 special districts. For more information on the NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit www.nctcog.org/trans.