“We're expecting about 3,000 students and 800-plus adults for events this year,” Las Cruces Public Schools Safe Routes to School Coordinator Ashleigh Curry said about the school district’s participation in the 2023 International Walk to School Day (IWSD).
Just like last year, LCPS is the only school district in New Mexico with total elementary school participation, Curry said.
LCPS walks began Sept. 12 and continue through Oct. 13.
"Walking and biking to school is a fantastic way to start the school day,” Curry said. “Fresh air and exercise get blood flowing and wake up brains, so students arrive at school ready to learn. Walking with the walking school buses gives students and parents an opportunity to meet new friends and enjoy the sense of community.”
Today (Sept. 14), one of our walkers at Desert Hills Elementary said, "I love walking to school." That's our why. If in the process we're able to reduce traffic and teach kids great skills, then it's a win-win," Curry said.
Here are LCPS’ 2023 IWSD celebrations in Las Cruces, Mesilla, Doña Ana and White Sands Missile Range:
- Tuesday, Sept. 12: Doña Ana Elementary School
- Tuesday, Sept. 19: 1) Alameda Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. at the corner of Palmer and Miranda; 2) Highland Elementary School, meet at 7:20 a.m. at the southwest corner of Emerald and Jade;
- Wednesday, Sept. 20: 1) Sunrise/ César Chávez elementaries, meet at 7:15 a.m. at the corner of Leaping Lizard and Peachtree Hills Road; 2) Columbia Elementary School, on school campus beginning at 8 a.m.; 3) Jornada Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. in the State Farm Insurance parking lot off Elks Drive and Heather; 4) Mesilla Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. at Commemorative Park on Avenida de Mesilla; 5) Sonoma Elementary School, meet at 7:20 a.m. at the end of the cul-de-sac on Prentice Place; 6) University Hills Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. in the Church of Christ parking lot at the corner of Solano and Panlener;
- Thursday, Sept. 21: 1) Conlee Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. at La Fonda Park, 1505 La Fonda Drive; 2) Hermosa Heights Elementary, meet at 7:15 a.m. at MAAG baseball field, at the corner of Hadley and north Hermosa Street; 3) Mesilla Park Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. at Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center, 304 W. Bell Ave.; 4) Tombaugh Elementary School (LCPS IWSD 2023 highlight school for Doña Ana County), meet at 7:15 a.m. at the corner of Stoneybrook Circle and Williow Glen Drive.; 5) Desert Hills Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. at Sagecrest Park, 601 N. Roadrunner Parkway;
- Friday, Sept. 22: 1) Booker T. Washington Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. at El Cardon Park at the corner of Spruce and north Mesquite Street; 2) Central Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. at Pioneer Women’s Park, 500 W. Las Cruces Ave.; 3) Fairacres Elementary School, meet at 8:30 a.m. at the school, 4501 W. Picacho Ave., and walk to Mesilla Valley Corn Maze; 4) Hillrise Elementary School, meet at 7:20 a.m. at Apostolic Tabernacle Church, 3001 Missouri Ave.; 5) Loma Heights Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. at Emanuel Baptist Church, 1515 Mulberry Ave.; 6) MacArthur Elementary School, meet at 7:30 a.m. at Valley Verde Park behind Save Mart, 495 N. Valley Drive; 7) Monte Vista Elementary School, meet at 7:20 a.m. at Metro Verde Park, 7125 Metro, Park Drive; 8) Valley View Elementary School (2023 highlight school for the City of Las Cruces), meet at 7:15 a.m. at Valley View Park, corner of Colorado and Esperanza;
- Wednesday, Oct. 11: East Picacho Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. at the southeast corner of Northwind and Westwind;
- Friday, Oct. 13: White Sands Elementary School, meet at 7:15 a.m. at the School Age Care Building 1316 and walk along Ripley.
SRTS began in 2006 at Hillrise Elementary School as a pilot program started by the Mesilla Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization. Mesilla Elementary School signed on in 2008, with Ashleigh Curry joining Dawn Sanchez and others as parent volunteers for the program.
Curry became LCPS’ Safe Routes coordinator in 2010 and has continued to grow the program for the past 13 years, making it one of the most successful walk-and-bike-to-school programs in the United States.
“We started in Doña Ana County in 2008 at Mesilla Elementary and Hillrise Elementary and went districtwide in 2014, Curry told the Doña Ana County Commission at its Sept. 12 regular meeting, as the commission proclaimed Oct. 4 at International Walk to School Day. Curry said 2,000-3,000 students participate in schools’ regular monthly walks to school.
Visit www.facebook.com/lcsrts and www.walkbiketoschool.org.