IDOT, ISBE Asks Kids to “Hike it, Bike it” on International Walk to School Day

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

                     To support a healthy lifestyle for

                     children and encourage green transportation

                     practices, the Illinois Department of Transportation

                     and the Illinois State Board of Education are urging

                     schools across the state to participate in

                     International Walk to School Day on Oct. 5. The

                     event, which started as a community demonstration in

                     Chicago and grew into a worldwide effort, will be

                     celebrating its 15th year.

                     “International Walk to School Day is the perfect

                     opportunity for many of our kids to break from their

                     normal routines and have a little fun in the

                     process,” said Acting Illinois Transportation

                     Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “Getting young people

                     interested in walking and biking is so important to

                     establishing lifelong, healthy habits. Events such as

                     these are great first steps in that process.”

                     More information about International Walk to School

                     Day, including a link with instructions on how to

                     register with the national organization and a list of

                     Illinois schools with planned events, can be found at

                     http://www.dot.il.gov/green/IWTSD.html.

                     More than 140 schools across Illinois have registered

                     as of this week. The 2011 International Walk to

                     School Day slogan -- “Hike it. Bike it. I like it!”

                     -- was the winning submission in an online contest by

                     one of those schools, Horace Mann Elementary School

                     in Oak Park.

                     “Congratulations to all those participating in the

                     International Walk to School Day,” said Illinois

                     State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico.

                     “It’s great to see how much this event has grown

                     since it began in Chicago in 1997. This is just one

                     of the many activities and efforts schools undertake

                     to ensure today’s students develop healthy habits

                     that will enhance their lives and their ability to

                     learn, now and in the future.”

                     Participating schools are encouraged to instruct

                     students on the basics of pedestrian and bicycle

                     safety prior to Oct. 5. Downloadable booklets

                     designed and written for kids are available at

                     www.dot.il.gov/bikemap/litlist.html.

                     Schools with questions about the International Walk

                     to School Day or require assistance  developing their

                     own events can contact Erik Hall in IDOT’s

                     Sustainable Practices office at

                     william.e.hall@illinois.gov or (815) 434-8520.