The Camden-Rockport Middle School’s Wellness Team is planning its third Walk/Bike to School event on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Joining close to 100 school districts, CRMS will be celebrating a world-wide month of walk/bike to school activities. This special event is sponsored by Safe Routes to School, a statewide program established in 2006, funded by the Bureau of Federal Highway and Safety, that is focused on walking and biking to school for improved student health and environmental benefits.

All school community members are encouraged to participate in this event. Both buses and cars will have drop off points about a half mile from school. Students are encouraged to walk that last half mile to school. The drop-off locations are Rawson and Washington Avenue for buses and the Congregational Church on Elm Street for cars.

Student, parent and community volunteers will accompany students on their walk and contribute to enjoyable social aspects of this offering while also promoting safety. The Wellness Team would love to see the sidewalks of Knowlton Street filled with students walking and biking that day instead of riding on buses or being dropped off at school.

Related research has shown that few children walk or bike to school and consequently miss opportunities for having physical activity, feeling responsible and independent, socializing, being outdoors, and arriving at school better prepared for academic performance. Given Maine’s health concerns about obesity and respiratory disorders in children, this activity can clearly benefit student health. Environmentally, the entire community is served when there is less traffic congestion and improved air quality. The Wellness Team is eager to celebrate this event and join with many schools and towns in Maine to expand walking and biking to school through the Safe Routes model.