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Holyoke, MA – In honor of International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 9th, Mayor Alex Morse will join students, parents and teachers from the Kelly Full Service Community School as they kick off Holyoke’s “Walking School Bus” (WSB) fall program at 7:15AM at the corner of South Bridge and Hamilton. 

 

This innovative program is a Healthy Holyoke, Mass in Motion initiative, with support from the MassDOT Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) and is designated for cars and school buses to drop off school children at a remote location, in this case South Bridge/Hamilton. The remote drop-off helps reduce traffic congestion around the school and encourages and allows children to take a short walk, under the supervision of trained WSB Leaders, prior to starting their day.

 

The benefits of the WSB program include providing a safe, consistent system in which children can walk under the supervision of adults; helping the environment by reducing gas usage, pollution and congestion around schools; and introducing both children and adults to an important and easy form of activity.  In 1969, 48 percent of American students bicycled or walked to school, but today, less than 16 percent of children walk or bicycle to school.  Walking to school is an easy way for children (and adults) to get the 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

 

“The Walking School Bus program is a great addition to the efforts being made by our community to encourage healthy lifestyles for our children and families,” said Mayor Morse. “I applaud the Kelly Full Service Community School for taking the lead on this pilot program, and thank the Holyoke Police Department, the Department of Public Works, and Mass in Motion for their collaboration in creating a healthier and safer Holyoke.”

 

To sign up for the WSB program, please contact Rebecca Masters, Project Manager at rmasters@hps.holyoke.ma.us or (413) 534-2078 to receive a registration form.


Posted on October 8, 2013 by