Students observe Walk to School Day
Safety and wellness united Wednesday as Lansing schools joined people across the world for the International Walk to School Day.
Students, parents and teachers were encouraged to walk or ride their bikes Wednesday evening to the new Lansing Elementary School on West Mary Street.
Lansing Elementary kindergarten teacher Vickie Kelly, who helped organize the event, said participants not only got a chance to learn about sidewalk safety for their children but to check out the new school that is currently under construction. Administrators were present to answer questions about the new building as well as promote the safety of their students.
Kelly said those people who parked at the current elementary school and then walked to the new school and then back walked a total distance of about eight-tenths of a mile. She said the event was a great way to teach students about health and environmental concerns that walking to school could help.
But the most important part of the event, however, was safety, Kelly said. Currently, 90 percent of students at LES are taken to school, whether by bus or parents dropping them off, she said. When the new school opens and many students no longer have to cross Kansas Highway 7, Kelly said she expects more students will begin walking.
This event is a way for the school to prepare for that change, Kelly said, and to teach students about safety before next year.
Following the walk to the new school, participants made their way to First National Bank, at the corner of Main and West Mary streets, for a Bike Rodeo. Stations were set up to do bike performance and maintenance checks as well as check for proper-fitting helmets.
Parents and students could also go through safety and skills training that Kelly said would make them more safe riders on sidewalks on their way to school.
For those students unable to make it to the evening events, Kelly requested that other teachers take time out of the day to promote the idea of wellness and health in their classrooms.
Teachers could walk their students to the high school track, walk a few laps and then back to the elementary school to equal the eight-tenths of a mile to the new school. Kelly said she hoped teachers made it fun for the students by taking breaks between laps to talk about health or eat a snack or lunch.
Kelly said it didn't matter how it got done, but her hope was to have 100 percent participation from all the classes at the elementary schools because wellness is something that will follow students for a lifetime.