October 19, 2021 By Christin Eigenmann
October is the International Walk (or Bike or Roll) to School Month. That’s why together with the great support
of the Foster Elementary school administration, the PTO Green team coordinated a Walk or Bike or Roll to
School Day on Friday, October 15th.
I arrived at the school grounds at 7:30am. Everything was still calm when I mounted all the grade parking signs at the school’s tennis courts, the place which would serve as the temporary parking space for our young drivers. Would the day work out as planned? Would all volunteers show up? Would students and parents walk or bike to school today? Would they enjoy the experience and consider it for the future? With eager anticipation I crossed the school grounds to check the front of the building. I wouldn’t have needed to worry: all volunteers were ready for their assigned positions, all smiles. The safety of everyone was assured by officers and crossing guards from the Hingham Police Department which were providing additional crossing guard assistance today. We were ready.
And then out of nowhere they started appearing. First just one or two, then whole groups of happy children
rolling or walking together, parents helping their youngsters or catching up with each other, dogs enjoying
their morning walk. The warm October morning air was filled with the chitchat and laughter of the Foster
students. What a wonderful, healthy & fun way to bring the Foster community together again I thought to
myself as I joined my fellow parent volunteers checking in all the bikers and scooters and rewarding them with
one of the stickers graciously donated by the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Department.
Bike & Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for bicycling and walking and emphasize the importance of physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion and caring for the environment. The events build connections between families, schools, and the broader community. Looking at the Foster community this morning with 153 bikes & scooters (more than 4x the normal daily amount!), many walkers and hardly any cars in the drop-off loop there was definitely potential to make active commutes to school a safe, appealing and preferred choice for families.
It’s fun, it’s healthy and it’s good for the environment! Hike it! Bike it! Foster likes it!