Pupils from Gracehill Primary School recently enjoyed a carnival-themed walk to school.
The walk took place as part of the Department for Infrastructure’s Travelwise NI’s Walk to School Week celebrations, a sustainable transport initiative which aims to teach children the health benefits of walking.
Over 250 schools in Northern Ireland registered to take part in Walk to School Week this year and Gracehill Primary School was randomly selected as the winners of the carnival themed walk which included children’s characters and interactive music.
All other registered schools received ‘Let’s Walk to School’ activity workbooks, designed by Travelwise NI to help educate primary school pupils on the benefits of walking and the importance of road safety.
Walk to School Week has been promoted for over 10 years by Travelwise NI and sees thousands of pupils and their parents step out to walk to school during the annual celebration.
Andrew Grieve from the Department for Infrastructure said: “Encouraging children to walk has major benefits for the whole community. It reduces vehicle pollution, decreases traffic congestion and helps to keep children fit and healthy.
“Whether your child can walk to school one day or every day of the week, there is no better time than in primary school to kick start a healthy attitude towards transport habits.
“As well as all the health benefits, walking also provides children with a sense of independence and it provides parents with the chance to teach their children about road safety.
Principal of Gracehill Primary School Mr. Scott said: “At Gracehill Primary School we very much value Walk to School Week. For many years we have encouraged our pupils and parents to try walking to school rather than using the car.
“We believe this has many benefits but the most important are increased physical activity and a reduction in traffic around the school gate.
“Walk to School Week gives all of us some additional motivation and the children thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie of coming to school in a large group.”