Students, City Officials Arrive at Campus on Foot in Celebration of ‘Walk To School Day’

Dozens of McKinley School Students Arrived to School on Foot in Celebration of ‘Walk To School Day’Dozens of McKinley School Students Arrived to School on Foot in Celebration of ‘Walk To School Day’Dozens of McKinley School Students Arrived to School on Foot in Celebration of ‘Walk To School Day’Dozens of McKinley School Students Arrived to School on Foot in Celebration of ‘Walk To School Day’Dozens of McKinley School Students Arrived to School on Foot in Celebration of ‘Walk To School Day’

By BRANDON VILLALOVOS

4:34 am | October 6, 2016


About 100 McKinley School students, parents and community leaders walked the sidewalks of Pasadena to the front steps of the campus Wednesday to draw attention to “Walk to School Day,” an initiative that promotes both health and safety for the city’s youth. The students trekked through neighborhood streets accompanied by the likes of the City Manager, Police Chief and Mayor during a morning of fun festivities aimed at educating Pasaden children on safety and the benefits of staying active.

“We have a wonderful city here and its one that’s great to walk in so this whole idea of ‘Walking To School Day’ really fits in with what Pasadena’s about,” said Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek.

“Walk to School Day” is a nation-wide initiative with a purpose to give visibility to the importance of safer and improved streets, healthier habits, and less traffic, according to the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

The group of participants gathered just before 8 a.m. Wednesday in the 400 block of South Lake and safely walked to the McKinley School campus where a morning filled with healthy activities and loads of fun awaited their arrival.

“Today’s gathering is about being together and celebrating our health, our wellness and the things that we can do as a community and as family to make sure that when you graduate from PUSD that you graduate also with a healthy mind and body. That’s one of the priorities for our School Board—that each child here has the opportunity to develop in your spirit and who you are,” said PUSD Associate Superintendent Mercy Santoro.

Students were cheered on as they arrived onto the campus quad with cambia music in the background as teachers, staff and students danced in Zumba fashion for an early morning workout.

“People are concerned about the lack of physical activity in children because it leads to obesity, diabetes and other health problems and we are also concerned about the safety and the path that people travel on their way to school. The city has a huge commitment to make sure that all of our children—public school and private school children— remain healthy,” said Tornek.”

A resource fair was set up on campus to give the students a complimentary and healthy breakfast to start their day.

“We’re very much a health conscious school,” said McKinley School Principal Dr. Charles Heaton.

Students were accompanied by various city and school personnel to encourage and highlight the fun that comes with creating healthy habits. According to walkscore.com, Pasadena scored a 66 walk score and a 72 bike score.

“Physical fitness and education go hand in hand. I’m a product of public school and I couldn’t be more of our public school students,” said Pasadena Police Department Chief Phillip Sanchez.

For more information about the health and safety movement, visit http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/ and http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/.