CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546
NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT, 06131-7456
|FOR RELEASE: September 23, 2010
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065
Safe Routes to School Invites Connecticut Students to Walk It and Bike It to School
The Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program is pleased to announce that the Second Annual SRTS Walk It Bike It to School, Connecticut! Contest will be launched on International Walk to School Day, October 6, 2010. Elementary and middle school classrooms across the state will compete to log the most miles walked and/or biked to and from school.
The Walk It Bike It to School, Connecticut! Contest was developed to promote a healthier lifestyle, while encouraging schools and communities to establish safe and convenient biking and walking routes. The contest challenges students to walk or bike to school, logging their mileage online as a classroom. Teachers or other school faculty can register their classes online and track their progress at www.walkitbikeitct.org. All Connecticut public and private schools with grades K-8 classrooms are invited to compete in this contest.
Elementary and middle schools are also encouraged to apply for free SRTS non-infrastructure program assistance to support walking and biking initiatives for their students. Schools can apply online with a choice from a list of offerings, including SRTS plan development, walk audits and bicycle rodeos. For more information, visit www.walkitbikeitct.org.
This year, for the first time, SRTS invites the public to pledge to walk or bike to school. The Walk It Bike It pledge will be available at www.walkitbikeitct.org and at select partner locations, including Hartford Marathon Foundation events, Fleet Feet Sports and Whole Foods Market. Students can sign the pledge individually, allowing them to personally commit to walking and biking to school.
Last year, participating students from 17 Connecticut classrooms logged nearly 11,000 miles. Students walked and biked to school, formed walking school buses within their communities and looked for alternative ways to continue a healthy lifestyle.
“We are looking forward to launching the second annual Walk It Bike It to School, Connecticut! Contest to encourage more students and families to make healthy choices in their lives while promoting safe walking and biking in Connecticut.” says Sharon Okoye, Connecticut’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator.
Midway through the school year, the first class that walks and bikes the distance of the perimeter of Connecticut, 375 miles, will be recognized. On May 19, 2011, all participating schools will be invited to attend the celebratory “Walk the Capitol Steps” ceremony at the State Capitol to recognize the three student groups that walked and biked the farthest distance.
What is Safe Routes to School?
The SRTS Program was established in August 2005 as part of Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The objective of this federally funded initiative is to encourage more students in grades K-8 to walk and bike to school, as opposed to using other transportation alternatives; thereby encouraging a healthier lifestyle. General program information is available on the Connecticut SRTS website: www.ctsaferoutes.org. Questions can be forwarded to the Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Ms. Sharon Okoye, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.