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Walk to School Month? Count me in!
Thousands of children from across the UK will be joining forces with over 40 countries worldwide this October to celebrate the benefits of walking to school during International Walk to School Month. The theme this year is „Count me in‟, and the campaign is encouraging children to measure how much physical activity they do during the day. Walking to school regularly is a fantastic way to help reach the recommended daily 60 minutes of activity to benefit a child‟s health. Around half of children currently don‟t walk to school regularly, with an enormous 41% being driven to school in cars, despite the fact that the average distance to primary schools remains around one mile. By encouraging families to ditch the car keys and get to school on foot, this Month will show that its not just PE lessons that are needed to give children the healthiest start in life – it‟s how active they are in their daily life that really matters. Teachers often report that those pupils who walk to school are more attentive in class. And it‟s no surprise – the levels of physical activity undertaken by primary school age children are often greatly overestimated by parents. By simply walking to school and back each day, the average child will already be spending more time physically active than is provided for by the national curriculum. National charity Living Streets, who are celebrating their 80th birthday this year, works to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets around the UK. They run the highly successful Walk to School campaign, which encourages children, parents and teachers up and down the country to leave their cars at home and walk to school. Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Living Streets said: “Walking to school is a brilliant way to get some physical activity and some fresh air into your day. When children are bundled from front door to car door, they miss out on the opportunity to socialise with friends, get to know their community, and burn off some energy before getting their heads down in the books. “If we are to avoid the Government‟s prediction of a quarter of our children being obese by 2050, we need to start making changes to our lifestyle now. We would love everyone who normally drives the school run to use this month as an excuse to try walking. We think you‟ll be amazed at how enjoyable a regular walk can be; a chance to spend real quality time together, and reap health rewards for all the family. And if that‟s not enough, thanks to our friends at Inside2Outside and Joules, we also have some fantastic prizes up for grabs!”

Parents are invited to complete a questionnaire at www.walktoschool.org.uk/mywalk after the month to share their experiences of the walk to school and to be in with a chance of winning wonderful Joules wellies for all the family for their winter walks. Teachers who track their schools‟ walking achievements at www.walktoschool.org.uk/minutes will also be in with the chance of winning one of Inside2Outside‟s Pocca Qube for their school! Pocca Qubes are versatile canopies which can be installed at schools so that teachers can bring their activities outside throughout the whole year! The winning school will have a £5000 Qube installed for free! Get walking! For more information contact Anna Powell, Press Officer on 0207 377 4914 or email anna.powell@livingstreets.org.uk. For any out of hours press enquiries, please call 07545 209865. Notes to editors Living Streets’ Walk to School campaign is supported by the Department for Transport, Transport for London, ACTravelwise and Modeshift, and delivered in partnership with local organisers throughout England. The Walk to School campaign encourages primary school pupils, parents and staff to incorporate regular physical activity into their daily lives by walking to and from school wherever possible. Visit www.walktoschool.org.uk for more information. Living Streets, celebrating its 80th birthday this year, is the national charity that stands up for pedestrians. With our supporters we work to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets, where people want to walk. We have been the national voice for pedestrians throughout our 80 year history. In the early years, our campaigning led to the introduction of the driving test, pedestrian crossings and 30mph speed limits. Since then our ambition has grown. Today we influence decision makers nationally and locally, run successful projects to encourage people to walk, and provide specialist consultancy services to help reduce congestion and carbon emissions, improve public health, and make sure every community can enjoy vibrant streets and public spaces. Joules are offering all parents whose children participate in Walk to School Month this October 10% off in store and online. Parents who complete the questionnaire at www.walktoschool.org.uk/mywalk will be entered into a prize draw to win wellies for all the family! www.joules.co.uk Inside2Outside Ltd. design Pocca Structures for schools, helping them bring their inside activities outside. During Walk to School Month they are offering one lucky school the chance to win a Pocca Qube Canopy to be installed at their school. Teachers will automatically be entered into the prize draw once they fill in their schools walking progress at www.walktoschool.org.uk/minutes. The Pocca Qube is a versatile and effective canopy designed to last. Whether you have a wasted corner, a whole area or a walkway between two buildings, the Qube is useful in making the best use of your outdoor space in any weather, and are an ideal way to create outdoor classrooms, parent waiting areas and much more, offering 100% protection against harmful UV and providing shade, while at the same time allowing plenty of light through. For more information, please visit www.inside2outside.co.uk/pocca


				
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posted:11/29/2009
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