MANCHESTER - Manchester Elementary Middle School recently joined the Vermont Safe Routes to School program and is participating in a state-wide walk to school on May 1.

MEMS is participating in this event to promote healthy behaviors and improve the health of the school community and beyond.

For those who live too far from the school to walk from home, there will be "Park and Walk" sites set up to make it easy for all students to take part in this event. These sites will be announced in the coming weeks.

Small steps that get the family to move more can help the entire family maintain a healthy weight. Choose a different tip each week for the family to try: walk instead of drive, whenever possible; walk the children to school; take a family walk after dinner; go for a half-hour walk instead of watching T.V.; park further from the store and walk; and go up hills instead of around them. For students, walking to school is a fun and easy way to fit in more exercise and make sure that students are getting the recommended 60 minutes per day.

Walking to school is more safe and more fun. Stranger abductions are extremely rare. The more eyes on the street, the safer it is for everyone.

More walkers mean fewer cars and less congestion, which again, makes it safer for everyone. Cars actually drive slower when there are large numbers of people walking.

MEMS is also organizing a weekly "Walking School Bus." Students in Kindergarten through fourth grade will be learning Pedestrian Safety Rules in the classroom and in Physical Education class.


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MEMS wants to encourage students to cross streets safely. They ask that parents remind their children to hold their hand while crossing if under the age of ten and look left, right, and left again before walking. If there is a car, make eye contact with the driver before walking calmly along the crosswalk. Wear bright clothing during the day and bring a flashlight or reflective materials if walking at dawn or dusk.

For more information about Walk to School Day, contact Carol Baringer, MEMS School Nurse at (802) 362-1597 (ext. 1127) or go to the MEMS website.