Aligning with the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) statewide Mobility Week, Operation Best Foot Forward…
One-day international event to encourage families, students and the community to be actively aware of pedestrians and encourage safe walking to and from school.
What: Best Foot Forward and its partner, Orange County Public Schools (OCPS), are taking their yearly stand against pedestrian injuries with International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 9, 2013. Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth-leading cause of injury-related deaths for children ages 5 to 19 in the United States. Best Foot Forward hopes Wednesday’s event shall remind children as well as walkers and drivers to be actively aware of pedestrians and encourage safe walking to and from school.
Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) is a founding coalition partner of Best Foot Forward, the pedestrian safety initiative launched last year to reduce pedestrian crashes by half in five years. OCPS endorses two pedestrian safety initiatives for its elementary schools – a monthly program called Walk-N-Roll and a Sunshine State Standard, compliant K-5 curriculum called WalkSafe teach students safe walking practices.
This year over 40 OCPS schools are participating in walking events throughout Orange County. The media can expect visibility opportunities and Best Foot Forward volunteers at the schools listed below.
Dommerich Elementary School, 1900 Choctaw Trail, Maitland, 7:50 – 8:30 a.m.
- Activity: Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker and Michelle Sartor of Healthy Central Florida and one of the moms who launched the popular Walk N Roll program, adopted by OCPS, will be walking with students and parents. The group will meet on the Thistle/East side of campus and walk to the car queue exit near the school on the South end of the campus. If media is interested, please park near the tennis court on the Thistle/East side of campus. Please ask for Michelle Sartor.
Maitland Middle School, Connected to Dommerich Elementary School, 8:45 – 9 a.m.
- Activity: Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker, parents, teachers and students will be walking from the Thistle/East side of campus to the North end of the campus near the tennis court, passing a bike shelter that was a gift from FDOT. If media is interested, please park near the tennis court on the Thistle/East side of campus.
Blanker K-8 School, 2500 S. Mills Avenue, Orlando, 7:35 – 8 a.m.
- Activity: Orange County School Board Chairman Bill Sublette will be celebrating International Walk to School with parents, teachers, and students starting at 7:30 am. The group will meet at 518 Richmond St. to walk along Summerlin Avenue to Blankner K-8 School.
Audubon Elementary School, 1750 Common Way Road, Orlando, 8 – 8:30 a.m.
- Activity: Orange County School Board member Nancy Robbinson (District 6) and City Councilman Robert Stuart shall join parents, teachers and students at 8:00 am at Audubon Elementary for the Walk-N-Roll program, which is the schools version of International Walk to school Day. If media is interested, please park in the school parking lot and ask for Leigh Norber, President of Audubon Park Elementary School PTA.
Avalon Park Elementary, 13500 Tanja King Blvd., Orlando, 8 – 8:30 a.m.
- Activity: Orange County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson will be celebrating International Walk to School with parents, teachers and students at Avalon Park Elementary. A large crowd will gather at the intersection of Tanya King Blvd & Rainbow Springs at 8:00 am to encourage safe walking. Please ask for Tracy Durham with Leland Management, coordinator of the event.
Clarcona Elementary School, 8723 Hackney Prairie Road, Orlando
- Activity: Orange County School Board member Christine Moore (District 7) will be walking with students at Clarcona Elementary School.
Lancaster Elementary School and Walker Middle School, 6700 Sheryl Ann Drive, Orlando, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
- Activity: The Chick-fil-a cow will join in the walks for Lancaster Elementary School and Walker Middle School students at this shared campus. Parents, teachers and students will meet at Lancaster & Sheryl Anne Drive at 7:45 am, where they will be greeted by the School Resource Officer and the Chick-fil-a cow. At 9am, Walker Middle School students, teachers and parents will meet at Calypso Drive to walk and bike into school. Please ask for Joan Carragher with Best Foot Forward.
Lake Sybelia Elementary School, 600 Sandspur Road, Maitland, 7:45 – 8:30 a.m.
- Activity: Maitland City Councilwoman Joy Goff Marcil will be escorting one of two LSES Walking School bus (WSB) groups. Her group departs from Homer Hough Park at 8:00 a.m. City councilwoman Marcil runs the Walking School Bus program at Lake Sybelia Elementary. Please ask for her when you arrive.
Lake Whitney Elementary School, 1351 Windermere Road, Winter Garden, 8 – 8:30 am
- Activity: Lake Whitney Elementary is participating in Walk to School Day as part of an overall Bike Safety Week. Parents, teachers and students will be meeting at the intersections of Roberson and Windermere at 8:10 am to walk and bike into school. Please ask for Jennifer Swanson, coordinator of bike safety and walking event.
Brookshire Elementary School, 2500 Cady Way, Winter Park, 8 – 8:30 a.m.
- Activity: Teachers, parents, and children will be meeting near the intersection of Brookshire Drive and Green Drive to walk and bike to school. Please ask for Amanda Schaefer, coordinator of the walking event.
Hungerford Elementary School, 230 S College Ave, Maitland, 7:15 – 8:30 a.m.
- Activity: Parents, teachers and students will meet at the basketball court adjacent to the school for safety activities and rally at 8:00 am. Please ask for Lisa Abdallah-Nosakhere, or Katrina Jackson from the Healthy Central Florida Eatonville Team.
About Best Foot Forward & Pedestrian Safety in Metro Orlando
Every seven minutes in America, a pedestrian is struck by a car or truck. Nowhere is the problem more severe than in Orlando, Florida, where two pedestrians are injured every day, and one is killed each week. Metro Orlando was ranked by Transportation For America as the “Most Dangerous” pedestrian metro of the past decade. The Best Foot Forward initiative was launched in May 2012 to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries in Metro Orlando by getting drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and getting pedestrians to be more careful crossing the street. More than a campaign, this “Triple-E” behavioral change process seeks to create lasting social good through the consistent and persistent application of low-cost engineering, community education, and high-visibility enforcement.
Best Foot Forward is a coalition of civic leaders, public safety officials, engineers, educators, transportation planners, advocates and concerned citizens. Initiated by Bike/Walk Central Florida under the leadership of former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin, spearheaded by Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and , the coalition includes Orange County Public Schools, Orange County Government, LYNX, MetroPlan Orlando, Orlando Health Trauma Center, Winter Park Health Foundation, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the City of Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Winter Garden, Apopka, and the towns of Eatonville and Windermere as well as police chiefs throughout Orange County led by Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.
The mission is to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths by half over five years. To learn more, visit our program page.