During Bedford Hills Elementary School Principal C. Zbyněk Gold’s first year at the school, he started what has become a beloved tradition: Walk to School Week. Usually held during the first week of May, the event has been held nearly every year for the last 15 years (the only exception being 2020).
“Since the event has been so popular, I was asked to do Walk to School Fridays in October,” Gold said.
For three Fridays this fall (October 7, 14 and 28), staff members met students and their parents at three different locations in town and walked to school together, picking up more families — and their pets — along the way.
“My favorite part is getting to see everyone walk together,” said third grader Mary Alison Andres, who was pretending to walk a chihuahua name Frou-Frou with the real dogs walking along around her.
Mary Alison and her friends chatted as they walked up the sidewalk, waving to other students with excitement as they reached the school.
“It was really nice walking with our friends,” fourth grader Evelyn Pirraglia said once her group arrived at school. “I liked seeing all the trees and how many people decorated for Halloween.”
Gold enjoys the social aspect of the walks as well.
“I like the sense of community when more than 100 students and their parents arrive at school in a good mood,” he said. “I enjoy the conversations with parents along the way. It is another way of showing how much we care for the children.”
Once they reached the school, parents congregated on the sidewalk, talking, taking group photos of their kids and introducing their dogs to each other before students headed up the steps and into the building.
“This event emphasizes the reality that we are a community school,” Gold said. “The students get some fresh air, exercise, quality time with their parents and they come to school in a good mood with no expectations.”