Pupils lead by ex­am­ple

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Lisa Sloan

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.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

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.

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