Many children are not getting the exercise they need to be healthy and ready to learn. Schools, parents, city and county government, law enforcement, neighborhood and community groups and businesses are coming together to promote and support walking and biking to school, as a way to increase daily physical activity for children.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national program that advocates for safe walking and bicycling to and from schools.
Clark County Safe Routes to School programs
Walking school bus
A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with adults. Students walk in a line, with an adult at the front and the end of the line. There are designated “bus stops” where children are picked up or let off to go to their homes.
Walk 'n' Roll
The Walk 'n' Roll events encourage students to walk or bicycle to school. Parents and schools can partner on walk and roll events, either as one-time events or as ongoing programs. Two national Walk 'n' Roll events are held each year:
Benefits of Safe Routes to School
Healthy kids are ready to learn
One of the great benefits of walking and biking and other forms of physical activity is improved health, including weight and blood pressure control, lower risk for chronic diseases and better self-esteem. Additionally, children and adolescents who are physically active and fit do better in school. Many schools find walking programs increase student participation in school breakfast programs and reduce tardiness.
Walking and biking to school are great family activities
Walking and biking to school provides opportunities for children and families to spend time together outdoors. Families also have the opportunity to reinforce important safety lessons, including how to safely cross the street.
Walking and biking reduces traffic and pollution
Studies show that 20 to 30 percent of morning traffic results from parents driving their kids to school. Walking and biking to school helps reduce congestion and air pollution from cars. When more kids walk and bike to school, drivers pay more attention and there are fewer traffic accidents around schools and where children live and play.
For more information:
- Washington State Department of Transportation - School Walk and Bike Routes; a Guide for Planning and Improving Walk and Bike to School Options for Students
- Safe Routes to School National Partnership - Implementing Safe Routes to School in Low-Income Schools and Communities: A Resource Guide for Volunteers and Professionals
- National Center for Safe Routes to School - Safe Routes to School toolkit and resources for implementation at your school or community.
For more information, contact the Chronic Disease Prevention team.