16 June 2011
Students in Jersey found healthier ways to get to school in the lead-up to half term as part of Eco-Active Walk to School Fortnight. The event culminated in a Schools Green Travel Day, sponsored by HSBC, on Friday 27 May.
The Eco-Active Walk to School Fortnight coincided with the national Walk to School Week campaign run by the UK charity Living Streets. Free classroom resources were distributed to all schools to encourage walking. Schools were asked to fill out a before and after survey to track their progress and enter for an award sponsored by ICECAP.
Pupils and teachers organised a range of activities for the Eco-Active Walk to School Fortnight:
- pupils at Les Quennevais School took part in a photography and creative writing competition and the school's steel band and HSBC volunteers were on site to welcome students who had walked or cycled to school on Green Travel Day
- students from Jersey College for Girls set off as early as 5.50 am to walk to school from St Ouen, and are planning to run a similar event this month as part of the Free Your Feet challenge
- the bike racks at Victoria College were filled to capacity on Green Travel Day with more racks being provided by the parish of St Helier and a samba band, together with HSBC volunteers, adding to the carnival atmosphere
- Plat Douet and Grouville ran walking buses to school throughout the 2-week period, collecting children en-route so they could walk together safely
- parents of pupils at Trinity were allowed to park at the Royal Jersey Agricultrual and Horticultural Society so they could walk to school together through the Petit Pres Woods nature trail
- St Martin's School ran their cycle proficiency training over Walk to School Fortnight so that their year 6 class could cycle in on Green Travel Day
Deputy Kevin Lewis, Assistant Minister for Transport and Technical Services, was at Mont Millais on the morning of Green Travel Day. He said: “I am delighted to see the support that the schools have given to Green Travel Day and the obvious reduction in cars on the road in this area. Hopefully, today’s success might encourage people to continue travelling to school and work in a more sustainable way.”
Minister for Planning and Environment, Senator Freddie Cohen, said: “The response from schools, both primary and secondary, to Walk to School Fortnight has been overwhelming and the amount of hard work that schools have put in is evident. It is great to see so many of our schools encouraging participation, whilst also creating education opportunities about the environmental, health and social benefits of walking and cycling to school.”