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WCMS Walk To School

Waimea Canyon Middle School Students Highlight the Importance of Safe Routes to School

By Bev Brody, Get Fit Kaua‘i

Waimea Canyon Middle School (WCMS) made history on February 21, 2024, by joining schools from around the world to host and become the first middle school in the State of Hawai‘i to officially host and participate in a Walk to School Day. 

WCMS students, along with parents, teachers, and staff walked, biked, and rolled to school starting at the Waimea Neighborhood Center. As the first middle school in the State of Hawai‘i to participate, WCMS students and staff’s intention was to raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. 

“Kids should feel comfortable and safe walking or riding a bike to class,” WCMS Principal Ray Carvalho notes. “With community events like this one, we can normalize seeing students on the streets heading to school and let drivers around our school know to slow down and drive like their niece, nephew, cousin, child, or sibling is walking or rolling to class.”

“Walking or biking to school is a great way for kids to get physical activity, which also improves academic performance,” added Bev Brody, Director of Get Fit Kaua‘i. “If we are able to reduce the barriers so that more students are able to walk or bike to school, it would also reduce our traffic congestion around schools.”

All participants were treated to a healthy snack provided by Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) Kaua‘i Region – KVMH, and student walkers, rollers and bikers will be entered to win one of two bicycles donated by Get Fit Kaua‘i (HIPHI/DOH) at WCMD next Walk to School Day in April. 

Hats off to the Kaua‘i Police Department (KPD) for their never-ending support with Get Fit Kaua‘i’s Safe Routes to School Programs. 

Everyone involved had such a great time that WCMS has already set a date in April for their next Walk to School Day! Congratulations! And “way to go” WCMS!

Want to host a Walk to School Day at your school? We’re here to help! Check out the Walk and Roll to School resources here.

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