It was barely dawn, and the air was chilly at 7 a.m. this morning — and I was still a little sleepy — but I perked right up when I met students and staff from Andrews Elementary School in northeast Austin. It's International Walk or Bike to School Day so we're walking!
|Head Custodian Maria Frausto|
Our departure point was an apartment complex a few blocks from school. Our group quickly grew to about 40 children who regularly form a "Walking School Bus," led daily by Andrews Head Custodian Maria Frausto. Ms. Frausto is Andrews' coordinator for the Austin Safe Routes to School program.
|Principal Laurie Barber|
Principal Laurie Barber joined us too, and off we went in a happy little line, down the sidewalk, staying out of the street, and crossing at the designated crosswalk. Safety first!
I like that students are getting fresh morning air and cardiovascular exercise at the beginning of the day. This gets their little hearts pumping blood and oxygen to their brains. They'll be ready for any math problem their teachers give them!
We arrived at Andrews and I'd have loved to join the kids for breakfast and visited with teachers, but I had an 8 a.m. meeting elsewhere so had to rush off. Thank you, Principal Barber and Ms. Frausto, for letting me join your walk — and for working every day to keep all Andrews' youngsters safe as they travel to and from school.
As our little troupe observed International Walk or Bike to School Day, I knew that down at Houston Elementary in the southeast corner of AISD, the community was celebrating in a big way. The City of Austin is a strong partner in this initiative to get kids walking or riding their bikes. This morning, staff and students from Houston Elementary School, APD and AISD Police Officers, City of Austin Animal Services personnel, City of Austin Code Compliance Officers and many other community partners walked or rode bikes to school together. The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department organized the walk with Houston for their Austin Safe Routes to School Program. Thank you, everyone!
The Austin American-Statesman has some great photos from this observance at Houston Elementary. Check out this link: http://galleries.statesman.com/gallery/walk-school-day-100610/
If you'd like to learn more about this observance, click here: Walk or Bike to School Day Next year, the observance will be on October 5, and I'll be out walking to school, that's for sure!