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Hawaii County schools to celebrate International Walk to School Day Oct. 4: Waimea and Kohala included

September 29, 2017 - 12:30am

NORTH HAWAII — Seven Big Island schools will join schools from around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day this Wednesday.

Hundreds of students from Waimea, Kohala, Kahakai, Honaunau, Kaumana, Pahoa and Pahala elementary schools will walk to school that day with parents, teachers and community leaders.

Each school has created an individualized walking plan. Kohala and Waimea elementary schools are inviting parents to walk with their children from nearby neighborhoods. Kahakai is hosting a “Park n Go” with parents invited to park at the Living Stones church parking lot and join their children to walk along the access road. Pahala, Pahoa and Honaunau elementary schools will have “Ride n Stride,” with a walking course mapped from their usual bus drop-off points. Kaumana Elementary is training teachers to deliver street safety lessons to all students who will then walk their evacuation route. All students who take part will receive a certificate of participation.

Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. The events build connections between families, schools and the broader community.

The event is being coordinated by Blue Zones Project, Department of Health, Hawaii Public Health Institute, PATH and school leaders.

PATH’s Executive Director Tina Clothier said of the event, “This is the first time our schools will participate in the Walk to School Day event at the same time as the rest of the nation. We see this as a starting point for Hawaii Island to celebrate walking to school and prioritize infrastructure improvements to support safe walking for our keiki. In the meantime, we are asking motorists to please drive with extra care around schools zones, especially on Oct. 4.”

For additional local information, contact Megan Yarberry at 430-8769.

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