More than 11,000 students in the Irvine Unified School District walked or pedaled to school on Thursday, Oct. 28, in support of the fourth annual Walk to School Day, according to estimates from the Irvine Public Schools Foundation.
In all, 26 IUSD schools formally participated in this year’s event. Sponsored locally by the Irvine Unified PTA Council, the City of Irvine and IPSF, Walk to School Day annual promotes walking and biking to school as a way to improve health, reduce traffic and highlight safe routes to school.
While a districtwide kickoff ceremony at Northwood Community Park was attended by school board President Sharon Wallin and Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang, many schools staged their own activities to inspire students. (Pictured above is Bonita Canyon Elementary and its principal, Bob Curley.)
Meadow Park Elementary, for example, held a contest that encouraged students to walk every day for the entire week.
Meanwhile, at Turtle Rock Elementary, more than 750 students – or about 90 percent of the student population – participated in this year’s Walk To School Day. Mr. Hofseth, a sixth-grade teacher, reportedly said he’d never seen the parking lot so free of traffic.
“The air was so amazingly clear and fresh in front of the school,” he said.
The participation rate was close to 88 percent over at South Lake Middle School, and once again Assistant Principal Rick Blazer led by example. In fact, the Blazer family – including his wife, Jean Blazer, who is a sixth-grade teacher at Greentree Elementary, and their son, Myles, a Greentree student – traveled by train from their San Clemente home to Tustin and bicycled the rest of the way.