Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card noted that less than one quarter of children regularly walk to school and less than 10% ride their bike to school.
From Ontario's Active & Safe Routes to School Program
At a time when children's fitness in Canada is receiving a "D", one Ontario school is getting an "A." Morton Way Public School is the winner of the 2nd International Walk to School Award.
Morton Way's "Walk and Roll" program, in place for six years, encourages its 870 students to walk and bike to school. The program combines weekly "Walking Wednesdays," parent-led "walking school buses", walking club cards for the students and a campaign to reduce traffic surrounding the school.
"The overwhelming support and commitment from our students, parents, staff, administrators and the community has made this program possible," said Kirstin Schwass, the program's coordinator and Morton Way's physical education teacher.
To celebrate their success Morton Way invited The Hon. Jim Watson, Ontario's Minister of Health Promotion, and other dignitaries to walk to school with them on June 5, part of their Environment Week activities.
The International Walk to School Award recognizes excellence in walk to school programming. The award is presented by the International Walk to School Steering Committee, a group representing organizations from 40 countries that promote walking to school (www.iwalktoschool.org for additional information and a full list of applications). The selection committee for the award was made up of representatives from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. A total of 34 applications were submitted for this year's award.
Morton Way's "Walk and Roll" program was inspired by Green Communities | Active and Safe Routes to School program (www.saferoutestoschool.ca). It is perfect example of how schools and communities can adapt Active & Safe Routes to School to suit their own unique circumstances.
In Ontario, Active & Safe Routes to School is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion's Active 2010 Communities in Action Fund (www.active2010.ca) and Transport Canada's Moving on Sustainable Transportation (MOST) program: www.tc.gc.ca/programs/environment/most/menu.htm.
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Updated August 17, 2008