Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 10, 2005
Pupils start their day with a walk
Our Lady of Victories' parent takes first step in Walk To School Day
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
A little bit of exercise does the body good. But parents spending time with their children is healthy for the family.
When Joan Card heard that Oct. 5 was billed as International Walk To School Day, she thought of a way to get students and their parents involved.
If the children are encouraged to walk to school, why not have their parents walk with them?
Along with several parents at Our Lady of Victories School, Card helped form a committee called Be Active. They pin messages to a bulletin board in the school to encourage the K-6 students to be more physically active.
Their mandate coincides with a call by the Alberta government that all schools in the province increase the amount of time allotted daily for physical activity to at least 30 minutes.
"A goal of our committee is to get adults more active with their children," Card said.
"We feel parents need to take responsibility as well to be with their children doing extra-curricular activities."
Many families are too rushed in the morning to take time and walk with their children to school. Kids are dropped off in congested zones before parents hurry off to work.
On a crisp fall morning, students who normally were driven to school by their parents were asked to be dropped off at either Rio Terrace Community Hall or the Meadowlark Mall and then walk the remaining few blocks to school.
Students who take the bus gathered at the school and walked around the field.
Card wants families to attempt to do more activities together at a slower pace. And walking to school, perhaps once a month, is at least a starting point.
"We are looking ahead to a family swim or an evening skate. I know my children are active: One is in hockey and the other is in dance.
"But as a family? We don't do a lot together."
It is a win-win scenario, Card said. Families benefit through exercise and by spending time together.
"It's exciting because this is our first event. And because of the international event, we will be joining thousands of kids around the world."
Card estimated that more than half of the 200 children at OLVS participated.