‘Walk to School Day’ attracts 300 kids

Melissa McRobbie
Thursday October 03, 2002

First-grader Tanyonika Scott and third-grader Andrea Smith of Malcolm X School were among brigades of students, parents, teachers and a few local politicians who set out on foot and bike from several meeting points in town to take part in the city’s second annual Walk to School Day Wednesday.  

Upon arriving at school they waved signs and filled the air with chatter while given yellow stickers that said “I walked.”  

The event is international but wasn’t adopted in the Bay Area until last year, to celebrate health, air quality improvements and the benefits of pedestrian safety.  

All Berkeley district schools were told of the event but the heaviest participation was in the elementary schools, especially Malcolm X and Washington.  

Pam Webster, coordinator of the event, said that it is important to get kids in the habit of walking. She hopes to make Walk to School Day a monthly event in Berkeley. 

“This is supposed to be a model today, not a one-time event,” Webster said. “In order for it to be part of the culture of our students, we need to reinforce it.” 

The state’s Department of Health Services sponsored the day to encourage better health, air quality improvements and less traffic.