Walk to School wrapped up for 2017
Students and families from ten primary schools across Bass Coast were involved in a range of activities throughout Walk to School month in October this year.
VicHealth’s Walk to School program encouraged primary students to walk, scoot or ride to and from school throughout October, promoting more active and healthy habits and an improved lifestyle.
The ten schools in Bass Coast who participated were: Bass Coast Specialist School, Bass Valley Primary School, Cowes Primary School, Inverloch Primary School, Newhaven College, Newhaven Primary School, Powlett River Primary School, San Remo Primary School, St Joseph’s School and Wonthaggi North Primary School.
Of these schools, four had a large number of students who catch the bus to school. To facilitate participation, these schools ran walking sessions at school so that students catching a bus could still participate and benefit from the program.
As well as providing a fun way to achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day, Walk to School provides a great environment for children to learn about road safety, pedestrian safety and bike safety.
Bass Coast Shire Council supported the Walk to School program and assisted by distributing safe walk to school maps for Inverloch, Wonthaggi North, Newhaven, Cowes and San Remo.
The maps identified footpaths and safe crossing points, as well as a number of safety tips. The maps also suggested Walk and Drop Zones, encouraging parents to drop children off a block from school so they could safety walk the remainder of the way.
Council and Victoria Police monitored school crossings and driver behaviour during the month to promote safe behaviour around schools, particularly during drop off and pick up times, and will continue to have a presence and encourage drivers to take extra caution in school zones.
The increased number of students walking, scooting and riding to school had a significant impact on reducing congestion around schools during drop off and pick up times.
Students participating in the program received recognition through awards and certificates.
Bass Coast Shire Councillor, Cr Julian Brown, attended the Bass Coast Specialist School assembly to present the Walk to School certificates and prizes. Cr Brown explained that it is important to exercise and build healthy habits for life.
“Walk to School creates positive health outcomes. It’s based on extensive research and evidence indicates that increased physical activity in Victorian children can provide real health benefits,” Cr Brown said.
VicHealth funding assisted schools to hold Walk to School events or healthy breakfasts to promote the importance of exercise and healthy eating habits.
Inverloch Primary School hosted a walk and ride to school day. All children that rode or walked to school received a piece of fruit as they crossed the school crossing. It was reported that over 200 bikes crossed the school crossing on the day.
Powlett River Primary School put on an event where parents were invited to join in the fun. Children decorated bikes, scooters and shoes, followed by a parade and laps around the oval with their families. The event was finished off with an award ceremony of certificates, prizes and two powerful speeches by students on the benefits of the Walk to School Program.
Newhaven College put on a walk to school event starting at A Maze ‘N Things. Children, families and staff were met by two Council Rangers who helped the group cross the road and walk safely to school. The event was followed by a healthy breakfast of fruits and yoghurt.
Walk to School is a VicHealth initiative which runs each October. For more information visit walktoschool.vic.gov.au