On October 15, Hopewell Elementary School, in conjunction with the Hopewell Borough Board of Health and Greater Mercer TMA, will be hosting its second “Walk and Roll to School Day,” a one-day event encouraging local residents and their children to bike or walk to school. The rules are simple: 1) bike or walk to school; and 2) have fun!
Walk and Roll to School Day is in keeping with one of the Borough Board of Health’s initiatives — encouraging local resident to walk more. Walking or biking reduces one’s environmental footprint, as well as reduces the congestion in town, provides an opportunity to exercise, offers increased time outdoors, helps develop a stronger sense of community, and is just plain fun.
The first Walk and Roll, in May 2015, served as a jumping off point to establish a walking school bus pilot program. A “walking school bus” is not an actual bus but is a universal term used to describe an organized and supervised group of children walking to and from school. It’s like a carpool — without the car.
This summer, Greater Mercer TMA launched a free walking school bus app, available for both Android and iOS, that allows parents interested in participating in a local walking school bus to connect with one another. The app has many convenient features including a “walk completed” notification that the designated group leader sends out to notify parents of the children walking that the children have arrived at school. Hopewell Borough locals hope to start using that app to formalize some of the groups already walking to school and encourage those who are not yet walking to join them.