TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Local celebrities, including police officers, firefighters, Indiana State student-athletes and honor students, beginning Monday, will walk with Fuqua Elementary students who are within a mile distance of the school.
This initiative, which will run Aug. 23 to Sept. 17, encourages Fuqua students to begin walking to school each day and utilizing active transportation methods.
The Terre Haute Police Department will support the first week followed by Indiana State Honors College students and then the Terre Haute Fire Department. The final week will include the Indiana State Softball team.
For years, students have walked to school, but there has been a decline in students doing so in modern times. According to organizers, this project hopes to spur students to begin doing this again, even after the initiative is over.
Walking to school gives children roughly 20 to 40 extra minutes of exercise and spare time to relax before and after school.
West Vigo National Honors Society members will volunteer their time Sunday to help mark routes and prepare for the month-long initiative.
The project will include the use of falcon talon stencils and spray paint marking the six routes. Members will be split into groups to mark the routes and place repurposed yard signs designed by the Fuqua Elementary Student Council advertising for this initiative.
In a recent challenge for the Vigo County High Schools, Superintendent Rob Haworth called for the three county high schools to combine 50,000 community service hours. This event not only benefits the students of Fuqua Elementary School in learning how to utilize active transportation safely, but it also helps the West Vigo National Honors Society in achieving their goal of being the first school to 5,000 hours.
The Safe Routes to School program has been made possible by a grant riverSCAPE was awarded by the Indiana State Department of Health.