Local public schools are being encouraged to implement a three-block “no drive zone” for a week in October to encourage students to walk to school.
International Walk to School Week is October 7 to 11 this year, and Louise Poole is coordinating the effort to make sure parents avoid driving their kids to the school grounds that week.
“Students who live near the school should walk all the way, and ones who live further should walk at least the final three blocks to school,” Poole suggested in an interview with 103.5 The Bridge. “The idea is to increase the amount of physical activity our kids are getting.”
Poole was at a Nelson council meeting last week asking the city to support the initiative by putting out cones to mark the three-block radius from the schools.
“Hopefully the cones will signal parents that they shouldn’t drive any further,” she said.
She also suggested the mayor and councillors may want to walk with some kids to school during that week to increase awareness of the program.
Through the initiative only lasts a week, Poole believes it could help form lasting habits.
“It can be a lot of fun for kids to walk to school with their friends, once they get used to it,” Poole said.
This is the first year Nelson schools will take part in International Walk to School Week, though similar programs have been spearheaded by individual schools at various times of the year.