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WCMS walking to school on Feb. 21

WAIMEA — Waimea Canyon Middle School (WCMS) is asking motorists to be mindful on Feb. 21, starting at 7 a.m., when it joins schools from around the world to host a “Walk to School” day.

WCMS students, parents, teachers and staff members will be walking and rolling to school starting at the Waimea Neighborhood Center located immediately behind Clem Gomes Gym and Waimea Pool. They plan to walk to the middle school, which is located below the Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital and adjacent to Waimea Canyon Park.

The students and staff at WCMS hope to raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling, and emphasize the importance of issues, such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment — all by becoming the first middle school in the state to participate in Walk to School.

“Kids should feel comfortable and safe walking or riding a bike to class,” said WCMS Principal Ray Carvalho. “With community events like this, we can normalize seeing students on the streets heading to school, and let drivers around our school know to slow down and drive like their niece, nephew, cousin, child or sibling is walking or rolling to class.”

Participating students have an opportunity to win one of two bicycles that are being donated by Get Fit Kaua‘i following the morning walk. All participants will be treated to a healthy snack provided by the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Kaua‘i Region, which operates Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital.

“Walking or biking to school is a great way for kids to get physical activity, which also improves academic performance,” said Get Fit Kaua‘i Director Bev Brody. “If we are able to reduce the barriers so that more students are able to walk or bike to school, it would also reduce our traffic congestion around schools.”

The Kaua‘i Police Department will be on-site to help keep all walkers and bicycle riders safe on their route to school.
Source: The Garden Island

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