Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) Marshfield elementary schools started their Wednesday off in an active way for International Walk to School Day on October 2.
Organized by Marshfield Clinic Health System and Noon Rotary, the day is part of an annual month-long campaign to encourage students to embrace healthy choices and encourage local leaders to form policies that promote pedestrian safety.
“It just gets them excited,” said Amber Schultz, 1st grade teacher at Grant Elementary. “A lot of kids don’t get the chance to walk to school, and this gives them the chance to do that.”
Each year Grant Elementary students, most of whom take the bus, are dropped off at the Marshfield Mall parking lot to take part in a school parade. Hundreds of students and parents participate, forming a line that stretches across several city blocks. The Marshfield High School football team joins the festivities to hand out stickers.
“It’s really a neat thing to see the school coming together like that,” said Schultz.
The Marshfield Police Department helps with traffic safety for the event, as well as student safety in general.
“Anytime that kids are actively involved in outside activities, we’re supportive of that and want to create a safe community for that to happen,” said Lt. Dennis Keffer, Marshfield Police Department. “If that just means patrolling neighborhoods and parks, or having crossing guards so that kids can get to school safely, and patrolling the school zones to make sure that the kids that do walk or bike to school have a safe environment to do so, that’s what we do.”
The walk/bike to school challenge kicked off on October 1 and will run until the end of the month with the chance for students to win bike gift certificates, t-shirts, and bike helmets. Those in grades K-6 who participate 20 days or more are entered into a grand prize drawing to win a $350 gift certificate from The Sports Den for a new bike, with two awarded to each school.
The challenge is hosted by the City of Marshfield, Marshfield Clinic and the Healthy Lifestyles-Marshfield Area Coalition.
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