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Monday, May 20, 2024
Walk to School Day a big hit in St. Davids
The first-ever Walk to School Day was held at St. Davids Public School on May 15. RICHARD WRIGHT

A group of students in Niagara-on-the-Lake were treated to a special escort from their neighbourhood to their classes from teachers on Wednesday.

The occasion was St. Davids Public School’s first-ever Walk to School Day.

The goal was to promote safety and neighbourhood bonding, says principal Carl Glauser.

“We might get to meet a few dogs, we might get to meet a few parents as well and see where the students live,” he said.

“It could be good for community-building. Parents can meet each other, and also students can feel safe because they are moving as a large group to school.”

“My hope is that we can make this a sustainable thing,” he said, “to be a thing from today, moving forward, where students can meet in the mornings then walk to school together in a collective group in the form of a walking bus.”

Congregating at the school 45 minutes before the start of classes, teachers broke into groups of five, then headed into the community to meet the students as they made their way to school or as they emerged from their homes.

Sparky’s Park, just more than a kilometre away from the school, was pre-selected as the muster point where students either arrived on their own, with a teacher or after parents dropped them off.

“I think this is excellent,” said parent Adriana Vizzari, who is also a town councillor.

“It really helps and assists parents by showing them that this is a community — maybe meet your neighbours, maybe meet your buddies to walk with. It connects families and really helps the community come together.”

Vizzari also pointed out the safety benefits of the walk. 

“One of the concerns is walkability in our town,” she said.

“That is something that we’ve been talking about with getting the crosswalk, getting sidewalks, discussing the safety of the roundabout. So this is really going to highlight those problematic areas.”

On this day, however, there were no immediate issues or concerns, just excitement from parents, teachers and students.

Once Glauser was satisfied that everyone had arrived at the park, the procession made its way to the school. The entire walk took about 10 minutes.

Once at the school, all students — even those who take the bus each day — were invited to attend a pre-class celebration under the school’s new event tent. 

They were all treated to healthy snacks and given participation bracelets and stickers.

“It is a feel-good community day,” said Glauser.

wright@niagaranow.com

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