MEDIA DISTRICT WEST -- Even family pets got into the spirit of
International Walk To School Day as Robert L. Stevenson Elementary School
students, their parents and more than a few dogs used their feet and paws
to promote pedestrian safety.
The event brought out about 300 Stevenson students and their parents
Wednesday morning, Stevenson Principal Paula Willebrands said. This was
the second year Stevenson has participated, she said.
Created in Chicago in 1997, Walk to School Day has quickly spread
throughout the country, as well as to Canada and other parts of the
world, organizers said. The goal is to increase pedestrian awareness and
promote student safety.
At the end of the walk, banners, balloons and goodies donated by local
retailers awaited the walkers.
"It wasn't just fun. It was also really good for the parents because
they got to see the route their child takes to school," Willebrands said.
Bringing attention to potential dangers for children is what the day
is about, said Colleen Wright, PTA Safety & Welfare chairwoman and a
coordinator of the event.
"Parents have a checklist. As they walk they notice problems, making
sure that it's safe for the kids to walk," she said.
Wright said that once all the surveys are returned, school officials
look for problems and work with police and other city officials to solve