Mount Kisco Elementary School Celebrates Health and Safety on National Walk to School Day
A smiling, energetic cluster of students, parents, and Mount Kisco Elementary School (MKES) staff members made their way up the hill on West Hyatt Avenue and towards the school. Students cheered as they reached the entrance and were greeted by staff and local police officers holding a sign that declared “Walk to School Day.”
For the last decade or so, MKES has participated in National Walk to School Day, an event that unites hundreds of thousands of students, families, and school leaders in a celebration of safe, active transportation.
Coach John DelFavero organizes the event for MKES each year. To ensure the safety of students, DelFavero coordinates with local police and fire departments and sets up locations around town where staff volunteers meet families and form “walking school buses.”
“Since we have so many students who walk to school, this is a great way to celebrate a healthy lifestyle,” DelFavero said. “We use this opportunity to teach our students about the importance of walking safety as well as the health benefits involved with daily exercise. It’s also a great community-building event for our school and the town.”
Not only does the event get families out and walking together, but it brings them together with the police and fire departments, who work hard to keep the caravan of students safe.
“It’s a real motivator to celebrate walking to school. We’re lucky to live in a town where you can do that,” Melissa Ponzio, another MKES physical education teacher, said. “We try to incorporate that into our classes too. We teach on the field across the street so we talk to students about walking safely around town.”
The event also ties students to an even larger community. The website walkbiketoschool.org allows students to see how many schools across the country registered to take part in Walk to School Day. According to Nancy Pullen-Seufert, Director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, participation increases every year.