ODOT Walks To School With Manchester Students, Staff
Other Area Schools Participating in International Event
Chillicothe – While teaming for a healthier, safer environment, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Manchester Local School District commemorated Walk to School Day by initiating a new sidewalk along U.S. 52 at the village’s east side.
This week, students and staff from Manchester schools were joined by state and local officials to participate in the international Walk to School Day as a way to encourage better health and promote safe environments for walking and biking to school.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to join not only the local community, but also millions of people from around the world to promote walking to school safely, and we are pleased to have been able to participate in this international event with the students and staff at Manchester,” said District 9 Deputy Director James Brushart.
Now in its ninth year, the International Walk to School Day brings children, parents, teachers and community leaders from around the world to heighten awareness about the importance of walking or bicycling safely to school.
In addition to Manchester, Walk to School events will be held at West Union Elementary on October 20, Peebles Elementary on October 21 and North Adams Elementary on October 22. And in Brown County, Mt. Orab Elementary will hold its Walk to School Day on October 16 and Sardinia Elementary on October 23. All of these events will be held prior to the start of school, beginning at approximately 7 a.m.
Along with walking to school to honor Walk to School Day, Manchester Elementary students and school officials also initiated a new sidewalk that was constructed between the school and the village limits this summer with funds through the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. A ceremony to honor the sidewalk construction project was held following the morning walk to school.
The SRTS programs are sustained efforts by parents, school officials, community members and government agencies to enable and encourage children to walk or bike to school. Through the federal government, funding is available for a wide variety of projects, from building safer street crossings to establishing programs that encourage children and their parents to walk and bicycle safely to school.
With increased traffic on the road and fewer designated areas to walk or bike, the number of children traveling to and from school by walking or riding their bikes has decreased from half of all school-aged children in 1969 to about 15 percent today, and more than half of all children arrive at school in private automobiles.
Earlier this year, ODOT awarded nearly $4 million to communities across the state for a host of projects, including school crossing signals, sidewalks, educational materials and school travel plans. As a result of its School Travel Plan, the Manchester Local School District received funding for the construction of a half-mile sidewalk from the eastern corporation limit of Manchester to the school’s campus off U.S. 52 and Island Creek Road, as well as funding for education and encouragement programs that will increase the number of children walking or bicycling to school.
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For more information contact: Kathleen Fuller, public information officer
Ohio Department of Transportation, District 9
1-740-774-8834, direct line and outside Ohio
1-888-819-8501, ext. 774-8834, toll free in Ohio