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LAS CRUCES PUBLIC SCHOOLS

LCPS holds Walk to School Day events

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All 24 Las Cruces Public Schools elementary schools will participate with in-person walking school buses (groups of children walking to school with one or more adults) and bike trains during International Walk to School Day (IWSD) celebrations beginning Friday, Oct. 1, and continuing through Thursday, Oct. 21.

“We've got 100 percent participation again, which is awesome,” said LCPS Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) Program Coordinator Ashleigh Curry.

LCPS has the most successful walk to school program in New Mexico and expects about 2,000 students to participate this year, along with school staff, administrators and community members, Curry said.

Along with the overall program, Curry coordinates schools’ weekly and monthly walking school buses and bike trains along with LCPS SRTS Champion Diane Diahn Nevares and volunteers at each school.

In addition to the health benefits, parents can develop or enhance the connection with their children as they walk or bike to school together, Curry said. Walking and biking also reduces children’s anxiety and helps them do better in school.

“There’s so many benefits,” said Curry, who has been the LCPS SRTS program coordinator since 2011.

Curry began with the program in 2008 and said many of the children who participated 13 years ago are now college students, and she is already “seeing the next generation coming up” to participate in walking school buses and bike trains.

MacArthur Elementary School is this year’s IWSD highlight school, Curry said. She said the Jornada Elementary School walk will be dedicated to the late LCPS Superintendent Karen Trujillo. Jornada Elementary walk participants meet at the insurance office of Trujillo’s husband, Ben Trujillo.

LCPS SRTS began at Hillrise Elementary School as a pilot program started by the Mesilla Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization in 2006. Mesilla Elementary School signed on in 2008, with Curry joining Dawn Sanchez and other parent volunteers for the program.

Since 2013, LCPS SRTS has had 159,286 incidents of participation in weekly walking school buses or bike trains, 104,332 incidents of students walking to school, 28,692 incidents of students biking to school and 26,262 incidents of adult participation, Curry said.

Curry is seeking volunteers to help coordinate walking school buses and bike trains at one or more schools once or twice a week. She is also hopeful that a recent grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation will allow LCPS to hire two additional SRTS champions.

For SRTS route maps, visit www.lcps.net/public-safety/safe-routes-to-school/. Find SRTS on Facebook at Las Cruces Safe Routes to School. Visit www.walkbiketoschool.org.

For more information contact Ashleigh Curry at 575-527-6007, 575-202-1317 or acurry@lcps.net.