Throughout the week of October 23-27, we celebrated the much-loved Walk 'n Roll to School with young students, parents and volunteers. Together, our community had fun participating in walking school buses and bike trains from different UBC neighbourhoods to both Norma Rose Point and UHill Elementary schools.
Guy Faulkner, professor in the School of Kinesiology and parent volunteer who led a walking school bus from Wesbrook Village, weighed in on the benefits of the program.
“Evidence shows that kids who walk or cycle to school are more physical active than those who do not – the school trip is an important source of physical activity. Additional benefits of active school include positive emotions during the school trip, the development of better way-finding skills and even superior school grades. The activity before school might help kids concentrate better when they start school. At the broader population scale, replacing motorized travel by active school travel could reduce exhaust and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Faulkner.
Faulkner attributed the great turn out to a combination of reasons, “It is one effective approach to alleviating parental safety concerns which is the primary reason why kids may not be allowed to walk on their own. It is one way to provide opportunities for kids to develop their own independent mobility as they transition to walking without adult accompaniment."
He added, "It is also lots of fun to walk with your friends."
"The UBC walking school bus schemes have been very successful because of the high number of young families living in the same dense neighbourhoods, and attractive routes to school that avoid heavy traffic,” said Faulkner.