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					                              Walking School Bus Week
                    Northlea Elementary Middle School, East York
This French Immersion, JK to Grade 8, school has created an innovative ASRTS program. The Home and
School, and parent run Green Team, coordinate the ASRTS activities at Northlea EMS. Northlea has
taken a 'safety over convenience' approach to the program and kicked it off with a neighbourhood
walkabout. As a result several changes have been made around the school, including larger STOP signs at
the busier intersections, increased police enforcement of through traffic and illegal parking around the
school, and changes to stopping and standing bylaws. Through the school newsletter and other
announcements, parents are encouraged to park safely and walk a block, and to not idle their engines
while waiting. The school has worked closely with the Police to address parking and driving concerns.

Northlea has a weekly Walking Wednesday program that kicks off right after International Walk to
School Day each year. This activity has a consistently high percentage of participants - over 80% of
students participated in IWALK 2002. A prominent Walking Wednesday banner is displayed outside the
school. Classes with the highest percentage of walkers receive the prestigious Golden Running Shoe and
on IWALK 2002 so many classes achieved 100% that the 'shoe' rotated around the school for a week.

As part of the school's 2003 Earth Week activities, student's
creative juices were tapped through a poster contest. The
students' posters included artwork as well as written messages
on the importance of walking to school. The reverse side of the
poster featured information on No Idling at School. 100
students entered the contest and their posters were displayed
around the school.

Northlea participated in Walking School Bus Week as part of their Earth Week celebrations. There were
approximately 60 participants in three WSBs. The response from the participating families was extremely
positive and the school hopes to repeat this again for IWALK Week 2003 and encourage more families to
consider walking to school regularly.

To further promote active travel to school a Bike Rodeo was organized this spring for Grades 1-3 and
they hope to install bicycle racks in the schoolyard; a Recess Run Across Canada (Kilometer Club) has
been taking place as well as a Dance-A-Thon.

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