A huge effort is underway throughout Sonoma County to observe "International Walk and Roll to School Day" on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
Parents, school staff, local elected officials, law enforcement, and even a local celebrity plan joining students walking or rolling (on bicycles) to school in 70 Sonoma County school neighborhoods.
Here is a list of schools in Patch towns and neighboring areas with events planned:
Healdsburg: St. John the Baptist Catholic School. Contact: Tina Panza, firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-545-0153 or 707-799-3911.
Windsor: Windsor High School, Cali Calmécac, Windsor Creek. Contact: Tina Panza, email@example.com, 707-545-0153 or 707-799-3911.
Petaluma: Casa Grande High, Cinnabar, Corona Creek, Meadow School, Sonoma Mountain Elementary, Miwok Valley Elementary, La Tercera. For details about local bike celebrity Steven Cozza's "CasaGrandeFundo" ride, contact Bernie Album at 707-766-7056 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sonoma: Adele Harrison Middle, Prestwood, St. Francis Solano, Sonoma Charter, Woodland Star. Contact: Carole LaTorre at email@example.com or Tina Panza, firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-545-0153 or 707-799-3911.
Cloverdale: Jefferson, Washington. Contact: Blythe Houg, Jefferson PTA president, 707-591-3843.
Rohnert Park/Cotati: Evergreen, Monte Vista, Waldo Rohnert, Thomas Page Academy. Contact: Becky Lunders, 707-799-1237, or Tina Panza, email@example.com, 707-545-0153 or 707-799-3911.
According to promoters, walking and biking to school promotes physical health, increases safety by reducing traffic congestion around schools, and aids the environment by reducing greenhouse gases produced from car exhaust.
“I polled my fellow teachers, and they affirm kids are more alert and ready to learn on our weekly Walk and Roll Wednesdays,” says Sue McQuiddy, Safe Routes Team Membe at Cali Calmécac Language Academy in Windsor.
In Petaluma, Steven Cozza, a professional bike racer and former graduate of Petaluma High School, plans leading a bike train via a ride titled “CasaGrandeFundo.”
“While racing in Northern Europe I saw kids riding bicycles everywhere. The culture here in the US is different," Cozza said. "Even though many kids live nearby their schools, people more often drive than ride to school.”
Safe Routes Sonoma County’s celebration of International Walk and Roll to school day is sponsored by Safe Kids Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, Measure M tax funds, Network for Healthy California, Kaiser Permanente, and Eco2School. Clif Kid is also donating organic Clif bars, and FedEx is donating safety coloring books to several local schools.