More than 11,000 primary school children in Brighton & Hove are taking part in this year’s Walk to School Week from 21- 25 May.
Schools across the city have organised a range of activities to encourage, reward and celebrate walking and other active ways to travel to school.
There are 32 primary schools involved, with many putting on creative activities to promote the message that walking to school makes for healthier, happier children as well as being environmentally friendly.
Pupils and staff at Middle Street Primary School took part in a “Wake and Shake” event alongside the Walk to School mascot, Piers the Meerkat. Children at the school also wrote and performed their Walk to School song at a special assembly to celebrate all the benefits of being active on the way to school.
Pupils at Brighton Prep are holding an inter-house competition to see which house can get the most pupils walking to school.
Alongside Walking to School Week, more than 2,000 children from 25 nurseries will be taking part in a Walking and Wheeling Week and Walking and Wheeling Month, organised by Brighton & Hove City Council’s school travel team to tie in with Walk to School Week.
The event encourages parents, carers, children and staff to walk, scoot and cycle to their nursery, pre-school, playgroup or childminder. Those unable to walk the whole way are encouraged to walk at least the last 5 minutes of their journey, reducing traffic in the surrounding area.
Piers the Meerkat will be kept busy throughout the week, attending school assemblies and workshops to remind children of the benefits of walking to school and encouraging them to take part.
Piers also features in SMILE, (Smile, Move, Imagine, Learn and Enjoy) an animated video made with help from schoolchildren in Brighton & Hove to promote the benefits of an active lifestyle. The film was made with the help of pupils from Carlton Hill Primary School, St Andrews CE Primary School and Hove Junior School. Find out more about SMILE.
Chair of the council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Gill Mitchell said: “Getting out of the car makes for happier and healthier children and it’s good for the environment. Walking or cycling to school is a great habit to get into and I hope that this event encourages many children and their families to keep it up.”
Photo – Piers the Meerkat, the Walk to School mascot, has been out and about reminding children of the benefits of walking to school.