More than 100 Whitmore Elementary students learned about safe walking this morning from Safe Kids Pima County, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, motorcycle officers from the Tucson Police Department, and volunteers from FedEx and Tucson Medical Center.
The event, as part of International Walk to School Day, was designed to raise awareness about pedestrian safety and to encourage the creation of safe walking environments.
“We had a great event today celebrating International Walk to School Day,” said Jessica Mitchell, coordinator of Safe Kids Pima County and a community outreach specialist at TMC. “Every day, 44 children get hit by a car in the United States. By walking with students on International Walk to School Day, we can show them how to walk safely.”
Mayor Rothschild handed out neon yellow shoelaces to Whitmore Elementary students gathered at Fort Lowell Park, to thank them for their participation.
The mayor told the students that walking is not only great exercise, but a good activity to share with their friends. He also shared safe walking tips, including using crosswalks and looking both ways when crossing streets.
In 2000, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians, and to create safer, more walkable communities. Safe Kids and FedEx address the issue through research, physical improvements to school zones, and education and awareness campaigns throughout the year, such as International Walk to School Day.
Safe Kids coalitions across the country worked with more than 600 elementary schools around International Walk to School Day to hold events for children to teach them how to walk safely and recognize pedestrian dangers.
“International Walk to School Day is a big day at FedEx,” said Rose Flenorl, manager of FedEx Global Citizenship. “In hundreds of cities around the world FedEx safety experts, drivers and other volunteers work with Safe Kids to reach and teach tens of thousands of children about road safety. Our team members are passionate about volunteering to help keep kids and communities safe.”