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Cold drizzle doesn’t dampen spirits of Richmond’s students

October 10th, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

By Rouchelle Brockman

RICHMOND–Cold temperatures and drizzling rain Thursday could not stop intrepid Park Elementary students from participating in Walk to School Day.

“Even in the rain you can see the excitement,” said Heather Andrews, safety coordinator for the Park Elementary School PTA. This was Andrews’ fourth year directing Walk to School Day.

According to the International Walk to School Day website, the event is meant to promote pedestrian safety, encourage physical activity and promote awareness about environmental concerns. Andews said the event in Richmond focused mainly on pedestrian safety. She said the PTA recently purchased florescent crossing flags for crosswalks near the elementary and this event was a way to teach the children how to use them. Each student also received a florescent strip of fabric to tie around their backpacks to help make them more visible to traffic.

Andrews said between 150-200 students participated in the event out of the 300 total students who attend Park Elementary. She also said this year has seen increased participation in school sponsored events.

“This event is a good way to show the kids they can (walk to school) and that it’s really not a big deal,” said Tiffany Sanders, one of the parents who volunteered at the event.

Andrews said around 30-35 parents volunteered to help in the event. The parents led small groups of students from the fire station down Main Street to the elementary school. Andrews also said the teachers participated in the event by directing and supervising activity closer to the school.

The walk stopped at Grandma’s Corner Bakery where the students each received a cookie before proceeding on their walk. The students then stopped at other points along the walk and received other prizes like pencils and balloons.

When asked why she participated in the walk, Park Elementary kindergarten student Kennadie Sanders said “because my teacher gave me a green paper about it.” When asked if safety is important, she nodded her head excitedly.

While this event was focused mainly on pedestrian safety, Andrews said during the winter the PTA organizes a carpooling event to promote environmental awareness. She said all students who ride to school with at least one other student on that day receive a prize.

Park’s Walk to School Day was sponsored by the Bear River Health Department. Andrews said the PTA used $55 of the $100 the health department donated for the event.

While the official walk to school day was October 5, Andrews said there is a bit of lee way and that schools throughout Cache Valley have been and will be celebrating the event through out the month.

The organization’s website said the event used to be limited to single day but in 2006 they decided to expand it to the whole month of October so that more schools in the U.S. and around the world could participate.

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