More than thirty schools across Swindon are encouraging their pupils to walk to school next week (20-24 May) and join in a special ‘Poetry in Motion’ event, as part of Swindon’s Walking Festival Month.
More than 8000 children and young people are registered to take part in the event, which asks them to take in the sights and sounds of their journeys and then put pens to paper to compose a poem about the experience.
A selection of the best pieces will then be sent by each of the participating schools for judging in an overall competition, organised by the Safer and Smarter Journeys team at Swindon Borough Council. The best examples will be published during the summer.
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet member for Highways, Strategic Transport and Leisure, said: “Walking to school has many well-recognised benefits for children and their families, including providing healthy exercise, reducing car use and pollution, and saving money.
“This year we want to highlight the opportunity that walking to school gives children to connect with their local environment, engage with their communities, and to spend time with their parents and carers in a more relaxed way than in a car, driving to school.”
During Walk to School Week new ‘5 minute walk zones’ will be launched by Travel Ambassadors at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Park North, and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Rodbourne, to encourage more families to walk for at least part of their journey.
Several other schools will also be holding special assemblies and inter-class competitions to mark the week.