WEST ORANGE, NJ – Kelly Elementary School students, parents, teachers and community leaders once again joined together for International Walk to School Day on Oct. 5. Begun in 1997, “International Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day.”
International Walk to School day has become a growing movement advocating for year-round safe routes to school. Thousands of schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, participate each October.
This year’s event was bigger and better than ever, with more than 200 students, parents and teachers walking to school from designated locations near Kelly Elementary School. Teacher participants Amy Pacifico, Anthony and Kelly Carsillo and Principal Dr. Joanne Pollara walked four miles to the school from their homes in Caldwell. Parent organizer was Lori Stewart Kapferer, who is also a member of the township's Pedestrian Safety Advisory Board.
Mayor Robert Parisi, Superintendent Jeff Rutzky, board member Sandra Mordecai, President of Traffic Officers Association of Essex County Andy Anderson, Pleasant Valley Way Civic Association President Roz Moskowitz Bielski, and officers from the West Orange Police Department were on hand to support the effort.
Special music was presented by “DJ Flo” and Anderson handed out reflective safety wristbands to students.
Field Station Dinosaurs stopped by to show off a dinosaur bone and give students an opportunity to pose for photos with the popular T-Rex puppet.
Kelly Elementary School and Dr. Pollara were recognized in 2015 by Meadowlink, a partner in the Safe Routes to School program. The Meadowlands Transportation Brokerage Corporation (Meadowlink) was the first Transportation Management Association in the state of New Jersey.
For more information on the Safe Routes to School program, go to http://www.ezride.org/6-0-SRTS.asp.