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City Participates in International Walk to School Day – Wed., October 7

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (October 6, 2015) – Thirteen St. Petersburg elementary schools will be participating in the annual International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 7. This is a global event sponsored by the National Center for Safe Routes to School that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking (and a few cycling) to school on the same day. 

St. Petersburg Police officers will be participating at 13 elementary schools, walking with groups, mingling with the students, marking the route in cruisers with lights activated, or simply blocking traffic at cross streets where there is no crosswalk or crossing guard.

Wednesday morning, volunteers and participants will gather at one or more designated meeting places near each school at specified times. Shortly after everyone is present, walks commence along a pre-arranged route, lasting 10 to 30 minutes until the walkers/cyclists arrive safely at their schools.

City Council Members will participate including: Council Chair Charles Gerdes at Westgate Elementary; Council Member Bill Dudley at Shore Acres Elementary; and Council Member Karl Nurse at Melrose Elementary. 

Since October is International Walk to School Month, Fairmount Park Elementary has scheduled their walk for Friday, October 9. City Council Member Wengay Newton, along with St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue Division Chief-Fire Marshal Mike Domante and Deputy Fire Marshal-Lt. Steven Lawrence will be walking with Fairmount Park students that day. 

St. Petersburg elementary schools participating in the 2015 walk include Bay Point, Bay Vista Fundamental, Campbell Park, Lakewood, Maximo, Melrose, John M. Sexton, North Shore, Shore Acres, Azalea, Fairmount Park, Northwest, and Westgate Elementary. Details about these walks are available upon request.

Beginning in 1997 as a one-day event, it has evolved to become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration, with record breaking participation each October. Today, thousands of schools across America - from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico will participate. The event is designed to assist states and communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bicycle to school.

In the past, Walk to School Day has enjoyed the cooperation of different elements within the St. Petersburg Police Department, including the Youth Education Section, K-9 Unit, Traffic Enforcement Unit, and Road Patrol volunteers, among others.

City Public Safety officials remind motorists to drive slowly and carefully in the vicinity of all schools throughout the school year.  

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