Photos provided by the Safe Kids Coalition of San Benito County.
Photos provided by the Safe Kids Coalition of San Benito County.

Information provided by the Safe Kids Coalition of San Benito County.

The Safe Kids Coalition of San Benito County hosted Walk to School Day for R.O. Hardin Elementary School children on Oct. 2 to raise awareness about pedestrian safety. More than 250,000 children across the United States participate in International Walk to School Day. Locally, over 200 students, parents, school administrators and volunteers participated by arriving early at the Dunne Park Ball Field to walk the one-mile route to R.O. Hardin Elementary School in Hollister. When the children arrived to school they received a free breakfast.

“International Walk to School Day is the perfect time of year to rally the community together to promote safe walking,” said Nick Merolla, president of the Safe Kids Coalition of San Benito County.

Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking, and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, and concern for the environment. The events help build connections between families, schools and the broader community.

“The Hollister School District is honored to partner with the Safe Kids Coalition on the important work of making Walk to School Day a success! We look forward to promoting this cause at all our schools in the future!” said HSD Superintendent Diego Ochoa.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Safe Kids Walk This Way program, sponsored by FedEx. The program provides funding to local coalitions, such as the Safe Kids Coalition of San Benito County, with the goal of teaching safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians to create more walkable communities through awareness campaigns, such as Walk to School Day.

Safe Kids Coalition of San Benito County teamed up with various partner agencies to teach safe walking skills to R.O. Hardin Elementary School students in Hollister, CA. The Safe Kids Coalition wishes to extend its appreciation to the following organizations, which contributed to the success of Walk to School Day: CASA of San Benito County, Hollister Fire Department, Hollister Police Department, Hollister Recreation, CHP, Council of Governments (COG), Local Transportation Authority (LTA), MV Transportation, Hollister School District, R.E.A.C.H., R.O. Harding Elementary School, County Office of Education, County Public Health Department, San Benito County Free Library, and the YMCA.