Live54218 Press Release:
Green Bay, Wis. – With the success and enthusiasm seen in Wisconsin and across the nation with International Walk to School Day, February has been selected as Winter Walk to School Month in Wisconsin – a month in the winter to promote walking to school year-round. The goal is to encourage schools and communities to plan events that will promote walking to/from school safely and demonstrate that walking can be fun throughout the year, even during the Wisconsin winters.
Held on the first Wednesday in October, International Walk to School Day is recognized annually to celebrate the benefits of active transportation by encouraging school children to walk and bicycle to school. Walk to School activities provide opportunities for communities to address safety concerns around schools. Reducing the risk of injury includes teaching children age-appropriate walking and bicycling skills, reminding drivers to be extra vigilant in watching for walkers and bicyclists, and identifying and eliminating hazardous conditions along routes to school that need to be fixed. Additionally, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicates that thirty-three percent of Wisconsin third graders are overweight or obese. Walk to School activities can also help children reach the minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week as recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General.
Students and their families from districts throughout the Greater Green Bay Area will join children throughout the state of Wisconsin during the month of February to celebrate winter walking and biking to school. Students in Brown County will be recognizing Wednesday, February 11th as Winter Walk to School Day, along with parents, teachers and community leaders to celebrate the benefits of walking to school.
Cities and local health organizations join in the celebration by urging schools to take part in Winter Walk to School Day. “Walking or bicycling to school is an ideal way to help our children meet the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity and potentially decrease their risk of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic disease.” said Melinda Morella, assistant director for Live54218. “Our cold climate may present its challenges, but it is so important to get out and get active, safely, even during the winter months. Parents and caregivers can take precautions by making sure children wear adequate winter clothing and watch for icy sidewalks.”
Winter Walk to School Day is part of a larger Safe Routes to School Movement. Safe Routes programs aim to create safe, convenient and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from school. Many schools in the Greater Green Bay area are celebrating Winter Walk to School Day as part of their Safe Routes to School programming. “We are a hearty bunch here in Wisconsin,” said Peter Flucke, president of WE BIKE, etc. “If we can snowmobile, ice fish, ski, snowshoe, run and even bicycle in the winter, with a little extra preparation and caution we can certainly go for a walk most days. Our winter weather may not always be predictable but, our need for daily physical activity is.”
The following schools are participating in Winter Walk to School month, celebrating their events on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015:
- Aldo Leopold Community School, Green Bay
- MacArthur Elementary School, Green Bay
- Foxview Intermediate School, De Pere
- Meadowbrook Elementary School, Howard-Suamico
- Bay View Middle School, Howard-Suamico
To learn more about Winter Walk to School Day, contact Melinda Morella, assistant director for Live54218 at (920) 265-6911.
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Born out of the community’s desire to address the ongoing childhood obesity epidemic, Live54218 was created around simple recommendations we could all live by every day. As the Greater Green Bay Area’s Healthy Eating, Active Living initiative, we strive to create environments in the community that support and promote all residents daily in consuming 5 fruits and vegetables, drinking 4 bottles of water, having less than 2 hours of screen time, participating in at least 1 hour of physical activity, and sleeping 8 hours a night. The goal is to make the Greater Green Bay Area the healthiest community in the nation. Learn more at www.Live54218.org
WE BIKE, etc. specializes in pedestrian and bicycle consulting in the areas of engineering, education and enforcement. Focusing improvement efforts in these areas results in improved community vitality – creating happier, healthier communities.