The Council will work with ten local primary schools to coordinate Walk to School activities throughout October after receiving funding from VicHealth.
The Walk to School campaign encourages primary students across Victoria to walk to and from school, and it is part of VicHealth’s long-term plan to get more Victorians living healthier and happier lives.
The Mayor Cr Justin King said VicHealth’s Walk to School month will highlight the benefits for children of walking, such as improving their fitness, friendships, and confidence, as well as the environment.
“It’s a free, easy and fun way for children to get active,” Cr King said.
“The Council is delighted to be part of this important initiative for the first time. Walk to School activities will include Healthy Breakfasts and running competitions for participating schools. We want to encourage more kids to walk, scoot or ride to school because exercise is fantastic for children’s health,” he said.
By getting involved in Walk to School, local primary schools will be helping their students learn healthy habits, and supporting them to meet the 60 minutes of physical activity recommended for children each day. All participating schools will receive student certificates to celebrate their students’ achievements, and will be in the running for regional prizes provided by VicHealth.
Throughout October, schools and parents can help children record their walks using classroom calendars or the Walk to School website and free app, available for iPhone and Android devices.
VicHealth CEO, Jerril Rechter, said children who walk to and from school can build healthy lifelong habits, become more familiar with their neighbourhoods and make new friends with other local children.
“With today’s children living a more inactive lifestyle and spending lots of time on screens, there is an increasing risk of serious health problems. Students who take part in Walk to
School can not only increase their daily physical activity, but also get to spend more quality time with their parents, siblings and friends.”
“Part way is ok! If you can’t walk all the way, why not park the car a few blocks from school and walk, ride, or scoot the rest of the way?”
Local schools can contact the Council to find out more about local Walk to School activities, or visit www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au for more information.
Image: Clockwise from back left: Mayor Cr Justin King, Cr Ellen Crocker, Cooper James, Daisy Coleman, Amanda Ward, Kazadi Kadima, Amali McKenzie