Saturday, May 24, 2014

23rd May Walk Safely to School Day

Walk Safely to School Day (WSTSD) is an annual, national event when all Primary School children are encouraged to walk and commute safely to school. It is a Community Event seeking to promote Road Safety, Health, Public Transport and the Environment.
As I teach at an independent school, not a local school many of the children I teach come quite long distances to school and would never walk to school. However, yesterday we encouraged parents to park a walkable distance from school so they could join in this national initiative that many of their neighbours experience each day as they walk to their local school.
Well it certainly had novelty value for many of the children who did it. They liked the sticker they received if they did walk. They talked about doing it with friends and how that had been good. The comments reminded me so much of Gillian Bradshaw and David Cox's picture book Shock Monday where the children are initially angry with their mother about having to walk to school, but find themselves enjoying themselves as they undertake what turns out to be quite an adventure. This book is just perfect to share and discuss on such a day. We had fun deciding what Tom and his friend could be saying to each other in the illustration on the cover.
I feel somewhat sorry for children who live in cities and busy towns today. The news today was full of statistics about how sedentary children are and how few were undertaking even an hour of activity per day.
I look back on my idyllic childhood in Bowral, a town in the Southern Highlands, where I walked to school or rode my bike alone or with friends right from Kindergarten to Year 6. On the way home I stopped at the Children's Library and bothered the librarians or at Bradman Oval and played with the neighbourhood children...just as long as I was home before dark. How things have changed!

1 comment:

  1. I gave this book to one of my teachers and she loved it too! Our Walk Safely co ordinator did a splendid job with promotion and photos and encouraging everyone to talk about this important topic. I used to love walking to my primary school with all my friends. I also like the Jill Murphy book On the Way home. A great tall tale.