Campaign to get more children walking to school

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YOUNGSTERS from Bournmoor Primary School are putting their best foot forward to celebrate International Walk to School Month.

The school has teamed up with housebuilder David Wilson North East, which is building homes nearby at Elba Park, to encourage pupils to reap the benefits of walking to school throughout October.

Despite the average distance to a pupil’s primary school being just one mile, about 50 per cent of children do not walk to school regularly and 41 per cent are driven in cars.

Laura Snowdon, acting headteacher at Bournmoor Primary School, said: “We believe walking to school is important and try to encourage as many of our pupils as possible to do so in a safe and sensible fashion.

“It is great to see a developer support such a valuable initiative and we really appreciate the donation from David Wilson Homes.

“Initiatives like this help to get the children excited about walking to school.

“It not only benefits their health, but they also have the opportunity to burn off some energy before the school day begins and we can reduce congestion outside the school gates.”

Studies have shown that walking to school reduces stress in children.

On top of that, simply walking one mile a day was found to curb increases in blood pressure and heart rate in later life.

Mike Roberts, managing director of David Wilson North East, said: “We’re delighted to support the campaign.

“Our new homes developments are located close to schools and as families move in, it makes perfect sense for us to support Walk to School Month.

“By donating 50 hi-visibility vests to the school and hi-visibility wristbands to all pupils, they will be encouraged to walk to school and can stay safe as winter approaches and the dark nights draw in.