Children (and their parents) will be lacing up their sneakers for International Walk to School Day this Wednesday.
Organized by Partnership for a Walkable America and first celebrated in 1997, the event encourages kids and parents to walk to school instead of driving.
In San Francisco, 55 schools are participating, with a main event organized around Buena Vista/Horace Mann K-8 school in the Mission district. San Francisco supervisors and other city officials, teachers, staff and parents will accompany children on their walk to Buena/Vista Horace Mann on Wednesday morning. Across the city, 8,500 kids are signed up to participate at various schools.
Organizers hope the event will encourage a reduction in the emissions that cause air pollution while increasing children’s physical activity.
Most public school students in San Francisco aren’t getting enough physical education to meet state standards, The Bay Citizen reported in February. An emphasis on standardized testing, lack of funding and a limited number of physical education specialists exacerbate the problem. At some schools, parents donate time and money to supplement physical education.
To take part in the Buena Vista/Horace Mann event, gather at Parque Ninos Unidos at 23rd and Folsom streets at 8:30 a.m. for a “warm-up” with Recreation and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg and other city officials. Walkers will depart from the park at 8:45 and arrive at the school around 9 a.m. From 9:10-9:30 a.m. speakers will talk at the schoolyard.