The COVID-19 pandemic has made school an at-home learning experience for much of the state, but the Newport Beach Police Department is joining communities across California in support of “Walk to School Day,” encouraging children, parents and community leaders to get active and highlight the benefits of walking.
“School looks and feels different this year, and what better way to improve a child’s health and well-being than to include a walk as part of the school day,” Newport Beach Lieutenant Damon Psaros said. “Even with schools closed or with limited in-person instruction, a neighborhood walk is a great way to practice safe walking behaviors with children.”
While “Walk to School Day” was officially Oct. 7, the public is welcome and encouraged to celebrate any day this month or when in-person learning resumes.
“It’s been a challenging year adjusting to distance learning and aligning education with public health guidance due to COVID-19, but this is a great way to build a routine and allow students to return to a small sense of normalcy,” Sergeant Corey Wolik said.
The Newport Beach Police department offers a few best safety practices for children to incorporate into their walks:
- Always look left-right-left before crossing the street. Make sure cars see you. Continue scanning for cars when entering the crosswalk.
- Do not listen to loud music or use a phone when walking. Eyes and ears should be focused on the road ahead.
- Quiz yourself on traffic rules.
- Watch for cars entering/backing out of driveways or leaving parking spaces.
To learn more about Walk to School Day and ideas to participate while adhering to public health directives, visit the Walk to School Day website: http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/20-ideas-for-walk-to-school-day-2020.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.