UDOT Student Neighborhood Access Program (SNAP)™ has a challenge called “Walk More in Four” where students in Utah K-8 are encouraged to walk or bike to school at least three days a week during the four weeks in September. Students can win prizes, such as a scooter, helmet or bike. Also, schools who register by Sept. 7 and have the highest participation percentage will win a $500 prize and Golden Tennis Shoe trophy. Second- and third- place will be awarded $250 and $100, respectively.
We kicked off the Walk More in Four challenge today at Highland Park Elementary in Salt Lake. The official challenge starts Sept. 4 and goes through Sept. 27.
The Walk More in Four challenge objectives are to encourage safe walking and biking practices, promote healthy habits among kids, as well as to keep the roads clearer to reduce air pollution and cars on the road – all resulting in a safer environment for our children. (Information about Walk More in Four can be found here: http://www.udot.utah.gov/snap/parent/walkmorein4.php)
More information about the Walk More in Four challenge and kickoff event is below. We also have a SNAP Facebook page that provides safety tips and resources for parents about walking and biking to school safely. You and your readers can check that out here: https://www.facebook.com/UDOTSNAP.
Students at Highland Park Elementary Kick Off Statewide Safe Walking and Biking to School Challenge
UDOT’s “Walk More in Four” challenge offers the chance for schools to win $500, students to win bikes and scooters
SALT LAKE CITY — Students at Highland Park Elementary today pledged to walk and bike safely to school this year as part of the UDOT Student Neighborhood Access Program (SNAP)™ “Walk More in Four” challenge.
To promote walking and biking safely to school, UDOT launched its annual statewide challenge. Walk More in Four encourages all Utah K-8 students to walk or bike to school at least three days each week during the four weeks in September.
Students chart their progress for a chance to win prizes including bikes, scooters and helmets. The school with the highest percentage of students participating will win $500 to be used by its safety committee, along with the Golden Tennis Shoe, a traveling trophy. Schools must pre-register for the competition by Sept. 7 (complete details and official rules are available at udot.utah.gov/snap).
“Walking or biking to school at the start of the school year is a great way for students to develop and continue safe and healthy habits,” said Robert Hull, UDOT director of traffic and safety. “Students who walk or bike to school not only stay active and increase brain power during the day, but also reduce traffic congestion around schools, making these areas safer.”
The Walk More in Four progress chart is available for students to download at udot.utah.gov/snap. All participating students who complete the challenge and return their chart to UDOT by Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, will be eligible for the drawing for prizes, beginning Friday, Oct. 5, 2012.
Students unable to walk to school due to distance can still participate by practicing safe habits while walking or biking in their neighborhoods. Throughout Walk More in Four and during the school year, parents can help their children practice safe walking and biking habits by discussing the following safety tips:
· Follow the safest route using the school’s SNAP Map (contact the school for a copy)
· Walk with a buddy or group
· Walk on sidewalks where possible
· Look left, then right, then left again when crossing a street
· Cross the street only at crosswalks. Obey directions from school crossing guards and walk bikes and scooters across crosswalks
· Always wear a helmet when riding a bike. Make sure the helmet has a safety certification and fits properly
· Wear bright clothing, especially when riding a bicycle, to make it easier for traffic to see you — or tie a bright handkerchief around your backpack
· Never walk or ride while wearing headphones. They are distracting and make it difficult to hear traffic
More tips and resources are available to parents and school administrators at udot.utah.gov/snap.
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) Student Neighborhood Access Program (SNAP)™ is a fun and comprehensive program for walking and biking safely to school that engages and educates students, parents, school administrators, crossing guards and communities. As part of the federal Safe Routes to School program administered by UDOT, SNAP focuses on student safety as its first priority. SNAP provides free resources, including mapping software, a 35-minute musical assembly and DVD, student activity booklets and teacher lesson plans, to encourage students to walk and bike safely to school. More information about SNAP is available at udot.utah.gov/snap or by contacting Utah’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Cherissa Wood, at 801-965-4486 or email@example.com.