Helena Spearing (left), Ruby Greer, Isla Ross and Dashel Scott like walking and biking to school, an activity being promoted through the Way2Go! campaign. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Way2Go! campaign launched to encourage kids to walk, bike to school

Less than 25 per cent of Canadian students use active transportation to commute

This story has been updated

Across Canada, less than 25 per cent of students use active transportation to get to school, but Island Health, the University of Victoria and the Capital Regional District are trying to change that.

This spring they’ve launched the Way2Go! campaign that encourages children and parents to use people-powered measures to get to school. This includes walking, biking, public transportation and drive-to-five options, which allow parents to park their cars nearby and walk the rest of the way.

“In Victoria we’re trying to encourage it as much as possible,” said UVic researcher Claire Sauvage-mar. “We want to get more and more students to use the great resources Victoria has, like bike paths and drive-to-five locations.”

The campaign is all about getting kids comfortable in their environments and making the idea of active transportation more popular, she added.

“The majority of children are not getting as much physical activity as they should,” said Dr. Dee Hoyano, medical health officer for Island Health. “We know there’s a lot of benefits for the physical health, mental health and school performance.”

Rauchene Spearing is a mother of two young children, ages six and eight, and she walks with them to school every morning. “It’s just a great way to start the day and get active and get some fresh air,” she said. “My girls just love it. They’re happy to walk, much happier to be outside than in a car.”

Taryn Scott uses the drive-to-five option and parks near Pemberton Park before walking to Margaret Jenkins Elementary School. “We are avoiding the crazy traffic around the school and getting some exercise,” she said. “The kids love it because we get to meet up with friends we wouldn’t see otherwise.”

Grade 2 student Isla Ross has always biked or walked to school. As a bit of an expert, she notices the benefits and really likes the commute. “I like it because I like the fresh air.”

Way2Go! has a contest on now through May 17 to see who is using active transportation the most. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences using “#way2go,” or they can make posters if they don’t want to participate online. For more details, visit http://way2go.islandhealth.ca/


Just Posted

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

New Carnarvon Park field-house could cost $4.3M

Both tennis and pickleball courts are included in new draft plan

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

What are the worst parking spots in Victoria?

We are looking for the worst places in the city to park and need your opinion

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read