(Savannah) National Walk to School Day has been celebrated for eighteen years and it will be again. There are three groups supporting the initiative for Gadsden Elementary students- who will be on hand as greeters when students arrive.
Gadsden Elementary Music Teacher Somi Benson-Jaja says there are a number of benefits for students and the community. “People that are just happy to see young, smiling faces and making, encouraging them to do great in school and continue to live a healthy and productive lifestyle,” Benson-Jaja says.
Walking to school is not as much a part of lifestyle as it used to be. The push to bring it back highlights a trio of benefits: it’s better for the environment due to reduced vehicle emissions; walking is healthier for students and when they walk in groups; and it enhances their safety.
“The truth is, right now in Savannah, all the things that are going on, it’s good to know that there’s going to be somebody there to look after you while your kids are walking to school. They can walk together in groups to make sure they all feel they are welcomed and safe. So, there’s always strength in numbers,” Benson-Jaja adds.
He also says walking to school can also strengthen the fabric of an entire neighborhood.
“There’s also the community aspect as well. When, if you’re walking to school, you’re going to see your neighbors, different things as well and it brings people together.”