Each morning members of LiveMove arrive in Springfield at 11th Avenue and the “shared use path” to walk with students of Elizabeth Page Elementary to school. In partnership with Safe Routes To School, LiveMove is volunteering with the Walking School Bus program, and has accumulated over 30 hours of early-morning time since January. Most days there is only one pick-up location, however on Fridays we add a second stop at 5th Avenue and the shared use path.
To participate in the Walking School Bus, students arrive at the “bus stop” and wait with the leaders before beginning their short journey to the front steps of the school. Along the way, students are able to harness their pre-school energy into positive interactions with classmates and Walking School Bus leaders, chatting about ALL their favorite things, while at the same time learning how to be safe when walking to school. Studies have even shown that physical activity improves cognitive functions, which increases a child’s ability to concentrate, memorize facts, and problem solve.
As members of LiveMove, we feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with our community, interact with funny and excited kids, and encourage healthy, sustainable modes of transportation. According to Safe Routes to School National Partnership, only 13% of students walked to school in 2009. This is down significantly from the 1970’s when 50% of students walked to school. Also in 2009, parents drove over 30 billion miles carting their children back and forth to school. The Walking School Bus has taken the initiative to help change these numbers by providing parents with a safer, healthier, and smarter choice when deciding how their children will get to school.
The Walking School Bus is just one of many programs that our friends at Eugene and Springfield Safe Routes to School offer for parents and students to take control of their transportation activity and learn new ways to getting around.
If you would like to learn more about Safe Routes to School or the Walking School Bus please visit their website: http://www.eugenesrts.org/ or visit the LiveMove projects page at: http://livemove.org/projects/community-outreach/
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010 July) The Association between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth
 Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Quick Facts. Retrieved from: http://saferoutespartnership.org/resourcecenter/quick-facts