SAN DIEGO–Three schools in San Diego have won the countywide Walk, Ride, and Roll to School Campaign Challenge for having the most students walking and biking to school throughout October. The grand prize winner, Chollas-Mead Elementary, will receive $1,000 in classroom supplies. The second place winner, Knox Middle School, will receive $750 in supplies, and the third place winner, Horton Elementary, $500 in supplies.
Throughout the region, 22 schools representing nearly 15,000 students participated in the challenge, sponsored by San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) as part of its SchoolPool program.
The Walk, Ride, and Roll to School Campaign launched on Oct. 5 in celebration of International Walk to School Day. More than 5,000 students participated in the kickoff event. The purpose of the campaign was to raise awareness of the health and environmental benefits of walking and biking to school, while also highlighting the importance of pedestrian and bicycle safety. It was sponsored by the SANDAG SchoolPool program, which helps parents connect with one another to organize carpools, as well as walking and biking to school groups.
To win the challenge, students logged their walk and bike trips through the online SchoolPool system. Overall, participants logged a total of 15,674 miles during October, the equivalent of walking across the United States approximately five times. Grand prize winner, Chollas-Mead, logged 4,642 walk or bike trips; second place winner, Knox Middle, logged 2,990 trips; and third place winner, Horton, logged 2,901 trips.
All participating schools also were eligible to receive free bike and pedestrian safety courses. In addition, the SchoolPool program distributed free safety gear, such as helmets, reflective backpacks, and safety vests, to children who walked or biked to school as part of the campaign.
Walk, Ride, and Roll and SchoolPool are both made possible in part by funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the County of San Diego’s Healthy Works initiative.