Students at Hermosa View absolutely love Skip to School Wednesdays! They are so enthusiastic about walking to school that they forget to walk, they skip! I walk a group of 10 kids in Teah’s class to school with me every Wednesday, and watching them hold hands, laugh, and skip to school is very inspiring, not to mention super cute to watch.
Upon arrival to school, Teah hands out walking sticks to her classmates and to the other afternoon classes. The children then put the walking sticks in a pail set up in their classroom. They watch eagerly as the sticks accumulate every week, in hope that they will win the class prize at the end of the month.
The contest is open to all classes from Kindergarten to Grade 2. Our first winners to be awarded a class prize for the most walkers was a Kindergarten class. They were awarded a “We Love to Walk” Mat designed by yours truly, and a walking Snoopy banner that is displayed with pride!
This “Stop Talking, Start Walking” campaign will continue every Wednesday until the end of the year and start up again next year!!! Going forward, this is not going to be referred to as a program or a campaign - it is going to be a lifestyle! Although this ‘lifestyle’ has had huge reviews, there has been some negative feedback as well.
A woman stopped me in her car today as we were walking to school and was appalled that ten children were walking with me. I did have another parent with me, but she thought it was a safety issue. I would have to say I would not walk ten pre-schoolers on my own, but these six year old’s are great with road safety and awareness - it is something I speak to them about before we leave for our walk and every time a new child joins the group. The children are aware of the consequences of not following the rules, and putting themselves in an unsafe situation would mean they would be reprimanded in front of their peers and they would not get to walk with their friends again.
The fact that she thought it was necessary to stop her car and pull off the road and stop me when I had all these children in tow makes me think that she was actually causing the safety issue?! Anyway, everyone has their own opinion about everything in the entire universe, so I hope she felt better expressing hers. Unfortunately it is not going to make a difference, these kids love to walk and love to walk together!
Another parent claimed that encouraging and enrolling the students to ‘Walk to School on Wednesday’ is ‘Green Bullying’ and he is adamant about going to the school board to put a stop to it. I can only say that I have received more positive comments than negative comments, and everyone is entitled to have a voice.
So with my voice I would like to say “Stop Talking, Start Walking!!!"
Green Tip: Time for Spring Cleaning?
Cleaning can be hazardous to your health... and to the environment. Many common household cleaners contain alcohol, ammonia, bleach, formaldehyde and lye, substances that can cause nausea, vomiting, inflammation and burning of the eyes and throat. Some of these ingredients have been linked with neurological, liver, and kidney damage, and asthma and cancer. When buying and using cleaning products, here are some things to keep in mind:
- read labels carefully to make an informed environmental decision regarding your purchases;
- if you are concerned about the safety or environmental impacts of certain products, contact the manufacturer for more information;
- when cleaning, remember to use no more than the recommended amount;
- use a scourer or rub harder on problem areas, rather than overusing cleaners;
- do not mix products unless instructed to do so by label directions. This can cause unwanted chemical reactions that could harm you;
- make sure containers are kept dry to prevent corrosion. If a container begins to corrode, place it in a plastic bucket with a lid and clearly label it.