Mayor Jane Castor will celebrate National Walk to School Day by announcing Grady Elementary School as the newest location of her Crosswalks to Classrooms program.
The Mayor will join walk-to-school organization Sidewalk Stompers in welcoming students walking and biking to Grady Elementary. The school has partnered with Sidewalk Stompers since 2019 on Walk to School Wednesday events, celebrating student walkers and bikers. Grady Elementary has doubled the number of students participating, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 200 students at each event. They have also hosted bike helmet giveaways to encourage safety.
The Mayor’s Crosswalks to Classroom program is a key element of the City’s Vision Zero Plan, designed to draw awareness to students’ bike and pedestrian needs on their route to school. The Mayor has participated in National Walk to School Day for the past three years, demonstrating her commitment to Tampa children’s healthy mobility.
“Events like National Walk to School Day showcase the importance of walking to school, while also making drivers aware that they should be alert and slow down while students may be crossing the road," Mayor Castor said. "A critical piece of our Vision Zero roadway safety effort is to ensure that our kids have safe places to walk, bike and scoot in their neighborhoods and to and from school."
National Walk to School Day also encourages students to walk to school more regularly, helping strengthen community connections, promote physical activity, advance road safety and celebrate the benefits of walking.
“National Walk to School Day recognizes the importance of giving children safe and healthy routes to school,” said Emily Hinsdale, President of Sidewalk Stompers. “Keeping kids active and engaged in their community helps not just their own health, but the health of our whole city. We are delighted to have Mayor Castor join us to demonstrate Tampa’s commitment to Vision Zero, making safe mobility a goal for everyone and especially for our school children.”
Crosswalks to Classrooms is one key facet of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor's commitment to Vision Zero, a global network of cities aiming to eliminate pedestrian, bicyclist, and vehicular deaths on roadways.
These brightly-painted city crosswalks are designed to catch the attention of drivers and calm traffic as vehicles slow for crossing students. This helps reinforce that streets are not just for cars; they are places where children walk to get to school.
The City's first artful crosswalk was unveiled in November 2019 at Rampello K-8 Magnet School, at the intersection of Washington and Jefferson streets in Downtown Tampa. More enhanced pedestrian crossings are set to be painted near schools throughout Tampa this year.
Sidewalks Stompers, an award-winning walk-to-school advocacy nonprofit, launched “Walk to School Wednesday” at Grady in 2019. The program is designed to increase student health, mental wellness, community connections, and road safety. Sidewalk Stompers currently offers programs at nine Hillsborough County public schools. Our vision is a new generation engaged in active transportation, growing up healthier and better invested in their community.