South Philly schools kick of Walk and Roll to School month

  • Students gathered in the George Washington Elementary School courtyard after walking and biking to school Thursday.

More than 40 students rode their bikes or walked to South Philadelphia’s George Washington Elementary School Thursday morning as part of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia's Walk and Roll to School event. The students were in good company as across the city 19 other schools pledged to participate in Walk and Roll to School month this October.

The Bicycle Coalition is organizing weekly walk and bicycle to school days each Wednesday as well as other educational events to participate in the international awareness month.

This week, five elementary schools along 5th and 6th streets participated in the Wednesday walk and ride.

The Bicycle Coalition is hoping the month-long Walk and Roll to School series will highlight the fact that a lot of kids are already at least walking to school in Philadelphia and encourage others to join, said Megan Rosenbach, curriculum and training specialist at the Bicycle Coalition.

  • George Washington Elementary School was one of five schools on 5th and 6th streets to host Walk and Roll to School days this week.

The program is especially important at schools where a lot of parents drive their children to school on a daily basis.

“We’re just trying to show parents that it is a viable way for kids to get to school,” Rosenbach said.

Walk and Roll to School month is also an opportunity to engage communities and involve them in making pedestrian and bicycle routes safer.

This initiative is part of the Bicycle Coalition’s Safe Routes to School educational program, which promotes biking as a fun, healthy means of transportation to and from Philadelphia schools.

The Safe Routes to School pedestrian and bicycle safety curriculum has been adopted by more than 130 schools and reached more than 50,000 students since the program launched in March 2010. Safe Routes has also brought 191 bicycle racks to 33 schools in the city.

George Washington Elementary Principal Omahr Ashe said he was happy with the turnout Thursday and said now that they have students biking to school, he would like to take the budding cyclists on one of the city’s bicycle trails.

  • Each week a handful of the 19 participating schools will host walk and ride to school days to celebrate Walk and Roll to School month

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