Thousands of Riverside County students from more than 60 schools will be walking and rolling to school to celebrate International Walk to School Day on Wednesday (Oct. 9).
The participating schools stretch from southwest Riverside County, to the Coachella Valley, the San Gorgonio Pass and western Riverside County.
The event will showcase the health benefits of walking or biking to school and highlight the need for communities to become more pedestrian-friendly. It reinforces traffic safety skills and reminds motorists to be careful of youngsters as they drive through neighborhoods. This countywide event kicks off a year-long effort to create sustainable walking and biking programs to address the increase in childhood obesity and diabetes rates.
As in past years, thousands of students and hundreds of parent and community-based volunteers will form “walking school buses” in which groups of children, parents and volunteers walk to school together. Many sites have planned fun and exciting activities, such as visits from local elected officials, community leaders, police officers, firefighters, and safety mascots like IEHP’s “Rad Rider” and Riverside Police Department’s “Buckle Bear.” Watermelon, orange, broccoli and red apple characters also have confirmed their attendance.
“It is a simple thing that can have a very positive impact on everyone’s health,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health officer. “Do it once and it can become a habit.”
The event is coordinated by the County of Riverside Department of Public Health and is sponsored by a combination of public agencies, police departments, city governments and community organizations.
A complete list of participating schools and school districts is attached. More information on the Riverside County Safe Routes to School program is available online at www.rivcoips.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RivCoSafeRoutesToSchool.