Everything old is new again.

There is now a national initiative to encourage children to walk or bike to school.

Of course in 2020 there was no need for such an initiative since the commute to school for most children was no farther than the dining room table or wherever their laptop happened to be.

The Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT) is asking both public and private schools to join the new Safe Routes 2 Schools program (SR2S) program that supports the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities to encourage children of all abilities to walk or bike to school.

Schools are able to join at any time during the school year and will receive complimentary program materials.  Schools may also request free educational resources, safety gear and event support.

Schools interested in partnering with GDOT to a host a walk to school event in October should submit a request at least 30 days before the event date.

GDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner Chandler Hagen said in a press release, “Walking or biking to school provides so many benefits.  Children arrive at school more alert and ready to learn.  Families have the opportunity to get their daily physical exercise and connect with each other and the community.  Fewer vehicles in the pickup lane saves money and time, cuts down on roadway congestion, and reduces harmful emissions.  We’re looking forward to working with local schools to help spread this message.”

Greensboro SR2S is being funded through an award from the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program.  Membership is free for elementary and middle schools.

Some of the resources available from SR2S include a step by step guide on how to start a “walking school bus.”

Each walking school bus follows a set route with one or more adults leading it.  Children are “picked up” at designated stops along a predetermined route.  The process is reversed in the afternoons on the way home from school.

For more information, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov/SR2S.