It was a morning of fitness and fellowship across the district as more than 2,500 elementary students and their families celebrated Walk to School Day in Westfield on Oct. 3.
Organized by the Westfield Parent Teacher Council and the BRAKES Group (Bikers, Runners, and Kids are Entitled to Safety), the event is modeled after International Walk to School Day, a global effort involving communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day.
In Westfield, students in grades 1-5 skipped, hopped, and walked to their school. Some received special escorts after entering and winning a raffle for the chance to walk with a police officer, principal, school mascot, or other local dignitary.
Jefferson fourth grader Pedro Puchkarew Do Nascimento was greeted at his front door by Mayor Shelley Brindle who escorted him to school, while second grader Kobi Rodrigues won the chance to be accompanied by Jefferson principal Susie Hung.
At Tamaques, mascot Tammi the Tiger joined in the fun and at Wilson, third grader Andrew Roofener was the winner of “Walk to School with a Firefighter,” escorted by Battalion Chief Robert Sawicki. Each of the 6 elementary schools had banners for students to sign and “I Walked” stickers provided by Weichert Realtors.
BRAKES is an organization that works to promote safe walking and biking routes for Westfield pedestrians of all ages.