It was a morning of fitness and fellowship across the school district as more than 2,000 elementary students and their families celebrated Walk to School Day in Westfield on Oct. 6.
Organized by the Westfield BRAKES Group (Bikers, Runners, and Kids are Entitled to Safety) and school PTOs, the event is modeled after International Walk to School Day, a global effort involving communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day.
In Westfield, students in grades 1-5 skipped, hopped, and walked to their school. Some received special escorts after entering and winning a raffle for the chance to walk with a police officer, principal, school mascot, or other local dignitary.
Wilson 2nd grader Zoey Edelstein was greeted at her front door by Mayor Shelley Brindle who escorted her to school, while Franklin 2nd grader Talia Farzad won the chance to be accompanied by Franklin principal Dr. Paul Duncan. Police Sergeant Thomas Ostrander kept pace with Kayla Marcus, a 3rd grader at Franklin and Jefferson 4th grader Owen Hennes walked and talked with school superintendent Dr. Raymond González.
“I enjoyed meeting Owen and his family,” says González. “I love these types of events that really bring the community together.”
Each of the 6 elementary schools had banners for students to sign and “I Walked” stickers provided by Weichert Realtors.
BRAKES is an organization that works to promote safe walking and biking routes for Westfield pedestrians of all ages.