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United effort promotes biking and walking to school

On October 5, SANDAG joined Rady Children’s Hospital, Safe Kids San Diego, and others to celebrate International Walk to School Day at Chollas-Mead Elementary School in Southeastern San Diego and kick off its Walk, Ride, and Roll to School campaign.

At the campus entrance and a nearby intersection off Market and 45th streets, Chollas-Mead students were greeted with water, healthy snacks, and encouragement from volunteers, parents, San Diego police, and school officials. Event sponsors and organizers also handed out water bottles, sweat bands, and other giveaways.

The goal of the event is to raise awareness of the health and environmental benefits of walking and biking to schools and highlight the importance of pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Chollas-Mead is one of 22 schools in the county to participate this year in Walk, Ride, and Roll to School, an awareness campaign sponsored by the SANDAG SchoolPool program, which helps parents connect with each other to organize carpools, as well as walking and biking to school groups. Walk, Ride, and Roll and SchoolPool are both made possible in part by funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the County of San Diego’s Healthy Works initiative. For a list of participating schools, visit http://www.icommutesd.com/Schoolpool_participants.aspx.

Walk, Ride, and Roll is a month-long challenge. Schools with the most students walking and biking to school throughout October will win up to $1,000 in classroom supplies. Participating schools are eligible to receive free bike and pedestrian safety courses. In addition, free safety gear, such as helmets, reflective backpacks, and safety vests, is made available to children who walk or bike to school as part of SchoolPool.

Rady Children’s Hospital administers a federally-funded Safe Routes to School program at Chollas-Mead and 25 other elementary schools in Southeastern San Diego. The program aims to increase the number of children walking and biking to and from school and reduce child-pedestrian accidents.

Safe Kids San Diego is part of Safe Kids USA, a world-wide organization dedicated to promoting child safety. Rady Children’s Hospital is a leading member of the local Safe Kids coalition. Safe Kids San Diego has participated in Walk to School Day for the past 20 years.

The Chollas-Mead event was sponsored by FedEx, REI, the San Diego Zoo, Z90.3, Souplantation, and Clif Bar & Company.

FedEx partnered with Safe Kids in 1999 to create the Safe Kids Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and to create safer, more walkable communities.

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or pio@sandag.org.