By Karen Graham
When Mill Run Elementary School Principal Paul Vickers learned
about proposed changes to the walk zones around his school, he started looking
for a way to educate the public and get everyone excited about walking to
Starting Sept. 3, the number of students walking to Mill Run in Broadlands will more than quadruple from 130 to more than 600. That will reduce the number of buses used from 13 to four.
"This is a great opportunity to promote healthy living and the idea of families and the community walking together, as well as the friendships that can develop as a result," Vickers said.
As Vickers was brainstorming ways to put the information out to the public, he started creating a script for a video outlining a view of their school's walking zones and how to safely get to and from school.
The video, which was created with the assistance of two high school students, is now available on YouTube, and has been uploaded with this story.
In the video, Vickers and his team outline the designated drop-off areas for taking children to school, which include the Broadlands Swim Club, Broadlands Nature Center, Eagle Ridge Middle School and the crosswalk on Ridgeway Drive. Parents are asked NOT to drive on Ridgeway or on the Mill Run campus.
Students are asked to take the tunnel under Claiborne Parkway, rather than cross over the road. New bike racks located at the end of the fifth-grade hallway enable students to ride to school, lock their bikes and take their helmets inside with them.
In the event of inclement weather, students should consider bringing an umbrella or warm coat.
"With 600 students walking a half-mile each day, we will accumulate 3,000 miles over 1 week and over eight weeks we will have taken an entire lap around the world," Vickers said. "The community is so great. This is a good thing for kids and we want to make sure they are safe."