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Reading Schools Sign Up To “Walk To School Week”

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AN INCREDIBLE 23 schools across Reading have signed up to take part in national Walk to School Week, which begins on Monday May 17th.

Pupils and parents right across the town will join thousands of children across the UK to celebrate the benefits of walking in the week, which runs from Monday to Friday next week.

Reading Walk To School Week

Families are encouraged to walk, cycle, scoot or ‘Park and Stride’ for the whole week to see for themselves the big differences that come from small steps. These include healthier and happier children and fewer cars outside the school gates. This year’s challenge will focus on the ‘walking superpowers’ that benefit individuals, communities and the planet.

Walk To School Week

Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking as part of their National Walking Month campaign each May.

Pupils in Reading will be taking advantage of  Living Streets’ Walk to School Week classroom packs, funded by the Council through its Travel Demand Management fund, which are filled with activities to complete on the way to school and in the classroom. Each day, pupils will be introduced to a brand new ‘Walking Superpower’ taking the form of a fun comic-book inspired design. ‘Super Strong’, ‘Super Smart’, ‘Super Smiley’, ‘Super Safe’ and ‘Super Sustainable’ will teach pupils about the benefits of being active and reinforce the power of walking. Daily reward stickers and special reward badges are up for grabs at the end of the week for those who travelled actively every day.

Last year, almost 200,000 children across the country took part in Walk to School Week, with this year’s event looking larger than ever.

Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“It is heartening to see so many pupils and parents across Reading sign up to this year’s Walk to School Week which is gearing up to be a tremendous success locally.

“The past year has seen many of us having to think differently about how we get around. We know from the generally lower traffic levels in Reading during school holidays, that switching the school run from car to foot can make a huge difference in terms of local air quality and safer streets and is a healthier way to travel around town. That is of course not always possible for everyone, but national Walk to School Week plays an important role in helping people to consider the alternative travel options open to them.

“Only last month the town’s first ever School Street opened at Park Lane Primary and the Council’s new Local Transport Plan will acknowledge the important role schools have to play, alongside everyone else, in helping to make Reading a healthier place to live as we drive towards our net zero carbon target by 2030.”

Prof Dr Kate Reynolds, Director of Education at Brighter Futures for Children, which provides education services in Reading, said:

“I am delighted to see so many Reading schools sign up to Walk to School Week. It is a fabulous way for children to enjoy the health benefits of walking while having fun.

“Teachers report that pupils who walk, scoot or cycle to school are more alert, relaxed and ready to start the school day. I hope everyone taking part has a great week and decides to carry on walking.”

Mary Creagh, Chief Executive of Living Streets, added:    

“Walk to School Week is a fun, inclusive, free and simple activity, which improves the physical and mental wellbeing of children and celebrates walking for all.    

“Pupils enjoy the health and happiness that comes from walking, while schools and local communities enjoy reduced congestion and pollution.

“We’re thrilled that families nationwide are joining us this week and enjoying the fresh air, fun, freedom and friendship that walking to school brings.”

Walk To School Week Information

For more information on Walk to School Week and to get a classroom pack visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/wtsw