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Children and families across North Somerset have the chance to get more active this autumn as part of an exciting project to encourage children to walk to school.

With help from the Department for Transport’s Access Fund, North Somerset Council has joined forces with Living Streets to deliver WOW – The Year-Round Walk to School Challenge.

The project will work with 15 schools to encourage lifelong healthy habits and reduce congestion at the school gates. Schools participating will benefit from staff training, led assemblies and lesson plans linked to the curriculum. The project can also be used to earn accreditation from Modeshift STARS, the national school travel awards.

The year round initiative encourages all children to walk to school at least once a week during the whole school year. Pupils can log their journeys using the WOW Travel Tracker and see which classes are leading the way in active travel. Their efforts are rewarded with monthly themed WOW badges and there is the opportunity to participate in ‘Happy Shoesday’ and meet the project’s mascot Strider.

Tor Zakaria, assistant headteacher of Yeo Moore primary school said: “We would definitely recommend this scheme to other schools. The families and children really engaged with this scheme. It had an impact on the amount of children walking to school and the children really enjoyed collecting the badges and celebrating their achievements in assembly.”

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for sustainable transport said: “We are pleased to be working with a DfT partner Living Streets, to support our schools’ active travel programme. This is a great opportunity for parents, pupils and teachers to help improve their health and local environment.”

For more information about the scheme and how to take part contact North Somerset Council’s Sustainable Travel and Road Safety Team at sustainable.travel@n-somerset.gov.uk or 01934 426 404.

Press release by North Somerset Council.

Photo: Travelwest’s Active Travel to School Programme

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