(JUNEAU, Alaska) – On Wednesday, Oct. 8, students at 4,300 schools throughout the United States marked International Walk to School Day. This one-day event in the U.S. is a part of an international effort to celebrate the benefits of safely walking and bicycling to school and to encourage more families to consider getting out of the car and onto their feet on the way to school.
Schools in many Alaskan communities, including Petersburg, Juneau and Anchorage, held special activities to promote safety for students who walk and bike to school.
At Wonder Park Elementary School in Anchorage, Providence Alaska Medical Center joined with FedEx, the Anchorage Police and Fire departments, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) Safe Routes to School program, Alaska Injury Prevention Center and others to help children get to school safely and held a reflector fashion show for hundreds of students. Kids also received reflector items to remind them to be safe and to be visible so drivers can see them.
ADOT&PF State Safe Routes to School coordinator Steve Soenksen said, “It’s great to see many people focus on safety. Walk to School Day is great to celebrate today and every day to practice safe pedestrian skills.”
The Safe Routes to School grant application period is open through Oct. 15. Grants are open to communities to plan, design and construct safer access to schools for children walking and biking.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 10 ferries serving 33 communities along 3,500 marine miles, over 5,600 miles of highway and 839 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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