It’s that time again – International Walk to School Day (IWTSD) is right around the corner. On October 10, 2018 kids across the globe will be hitting the sidewalks for the 22nd annual IWTSD.
There are so many great benefits that come with walking to school. It fosters a feeling of independence and confidence, with kids learning to be vigilant and self-aware. Chatting with neighbors and waving hello to others develops a stronger sense of community. Less traffic congestion leads to a safer and healthier environment. We can’t forget the health benefits too – it gets kids’ blood pumping first thing in the morning, making them more alert and ready to learn when they arrive at school.
So far, 44 schools in Orange County and two schools in Osceola County have registered for the event through the official website. Don’t see your child’s school listed? It’s not too late – contact their school about organizing a walk. The Center even offers resources for planning an event, making it super easy to get involved. Let’s see how many schools can get in on the action.
What began as a 1-day event in Chicago has grown into all 50 states and over 40 countries supporting and encouraging students to walk to school. Safe Route to Schools (SRTS) has programs that aim to make it safer for students to bike and walk to school. To check out their programs, plan an event or find safe walking tips, check out the SRTS website.
Why stop with one day of walking fun? Talk to your school about starting a Walking School Bus (like the one recently launched at Audubon Park Elementary) to keep the fun going all year. Happy walking!
Although stopping on red is seemingly a “no-brainer,” close to 25% of all traffic accidents are caused by drivers failing to stop at a red light or stop sign. The cause? Distractions such as texting on your cell phone and aggressive driving due to anger and stress.
Each year, the National Coalition for Safer Roads brings awareness to this problem with their Stop on Red Week. To get the word out, Bike/Walk Central’s Florida’s Amanda Day recently spoke with Spectrum News 13’s Eric Levy for an in-depth conversation on the importance of stopping on red:
We also joined forces with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Transportation to promote stopping on red at the corner of Pine Hills Road & Silver Star Road, a high crash intersection in Orange County. See some pictures from this event below:
Best Foot Forward headed to Poinciana to help kids get ready for back-to-school. The Poinciana Back-to-School Bash, hosted by Osceola County D3 Commissioner Arrington, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the Kissimmee Osceola Chamber of Commerce, Osceola Community Health Services and the Poinciana Area Council, was a free event that included school physicals, dental exams, free backpacks and vendors from across the county. We had a blast and even got to see our BFF Sheriff Russ Gibson, who was thrilled to join in for a photo featuring his new iY4Peds magnet.
Despite the heat, parents lined up to have their kids fitted for bike helmets by the BFF team. BFF was able to give away 30 helmets to kids in need, ensuring that they stay safe while riding their bikes. We also filled their new backpacks with comic books, coloring books and stickers about safe walking for a small “fee” – which was that each child had to answer a safety question to prove they knew what to do before crossing the street. Luckily, these kids knew their streets smarts and walked away with some awesome PED safety swag.
Special thanks to Commissioner Arrington for allowing us to enjoy this great event. We hope our friends in Osceola have a great first day of school!
Best Foot Forward joined Orange County Commissioner Rod Love for District 2’s annual back to school fair. The event focused on getting families ready for the 2018-2019 school year, and vendors from all over Central Florida attended.
The BFF team talked to kids all about how to stay safe while biking and walking to school. We were able to fit helmets for kids in need so that they can start the new school year off on the right foot. Commissioner Love stopped by to let us know that he yields for people walking and you should too! Apopka Mayor and long-time BFF Bryan Nelson even came by chat safety as well.
Thank you to Commissioner Love for allowing us to help kids get ready for school. We had a great time!
Best Foot Forward splashed in with OPD at their National Night Out Safety Splash event. National Night Out focuses on strengthening ties between law enforcement and the community. OPD encourages residents to host their own National Night Out block parties on October 2 and even gives them kits to get started. During this kick-off event at the College Park Community Center, kids and parents were entertained with a pool, bounce houses and demonstrations with OPD, including a K-9 presentation. Commissioner Robert Stuart even stopped by to join the fun.
The BFF team stayed on dry land, testing kids on their street smarts. The kids at the event did not skip a beat when asked which way to look before crossing the street – left, right, left was the common (and correct) answer. Correctly answering this question, and others, earned them their choice of a prize, including safety comic books, coloring books and stickers. Parents won a prize too – a BFF iY4Peds magnet for their cars.