Horton Elementary kids have sole. They’re on their toes. And heels, too, as the majority of Horton students are now happily walking to school as part of the national Walk to School initiative.
The effort has proven hugely successful with students plus a low-cost way to engage parents into the school’s efforts. This kind of "collective sole power" promotes both health and connectiveness to the school.
More than 75 parents turned out just to talk about walking to school at an Oct. 6 meeting led by San Diego Police Department Capt. Tony McElroy. School nurse Rosemary Jaworkski explained the health benefits both immediate and long-term, about how the seemingly simple act of walking a few blocks can develop lifelong good habits. Principal Robin McCulloch talked to parents about the importance of their involvement, from walking to homework, and how it has a direct impact on student academic success.
To reinforce the good intentions of all the concerned grownups, Horton is offering little rewards to students who get to class each morning via sole-power. They each have a punch card that, once filled, can be redeemed for prizes like “It’s Cool to Walk to School” bracelets and pedometers so they can start calculating the miles they’re logging. So many kids are hitting the streets in the Southeast San Diego neighborhood that motorists and neighbors are taking greater care, to keep the youngsters safe. And students earn rewards for rewarding behavior, and are starting the school year off with a can-do mindset.
Says Principal McCulloch, "Horton Kids are loving it!"
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