Pupils lead by example
Children from Waterview Primary want people to get out of their cars and walk everywhere they can.
So they are setting an example.
The school launched its Travelwise plan in a special assembly last month. The plan aims to make the roads around the school safer and encourages children to walk or cycle wherever possible.
Parents are encouraged to walk their children to school and not drop them off in cars.
A joint kindergarten and school walking bus has also been launched to keep children safe while they are walking on the streets around Waterview.
Pupil Joseph Newcombe, 7, says having a Travelwise plan is important.
“It gets people out of the car and getting exercise. If people don’t walk the air gets very polluted and poisonous.”
Waterview Primary has been working with Auckland City Council and Auckland Regional Transport Authority staff for a year to implement the Travelwise plan.
A survey of how children travelled to school was taken and danger spots on Herdman St next to the school were identified.
Speed bumps will be added around the school to help slow down cars and children have received lessons in bike safety.
Principal Brett Skeen says the Travelwise plan was built on children’s feedback of what they felt was dangerous. He says cars often don’t stop at crossings and park on double yellow lines near the school so it is reassuring to have safety measures in place.
“The children have really gotten into it and a lot of this has come from them.
“It’s important for them to be active and understand the need to walk, so this is good for them and for the environment.”
Mr Skeen says the way children travel to school in the future may change with the building of the motorway through Waterview but for now the plan is working well.
Pupil Craig Watson, 8, says he enjoys taking part in the walking school bus.
“Walking gives you lots of energy for school and changes the environment.”
Walking bus: Waterview Primary principal Brett Skeen with walking school bus members, front from left: Sabawon Omari, 7, Lolohea Vavau, 6, Justin Newcombe, 7, Cesaly Stormont, 9. Back from left: Craig Watson, 8, and Lima Omari, 9. The school has recently launched its Travelwise plan.