The suburban footpath outside Masterton Primary School was abuzz with scooters, skateboards, bikes and feet this morning as students arrived at school. The fresh air and exercise brought bright smiles and an extra skip to the step of many students, who arrived with Movin’March passports, ready for stamping by their teacher for walking or wheeling to school.
Movin’March is a month long celebration of active travel to school – organised by the Greater Wellington Regional Council in collaboration with the Wairarapa Road Safety Council. This year has seen a record number of schools register, with 57% of primary schools in the region signed up, and over 77% of schools in the Wairarapa District actively engaged in the campaign.
“Movin’March is fantastic,” says, Masterton Primary School teacher Deb Carman. “It’s a win - less congestion at the gate and our kids arriving on time.”
With some families living rurally, Masterton Primary School set up three park and stride ‘walking pou’ which are drop off points a small distance from the school. These allow tamariki to get a little exercise each morning and reap the benefits of the confidence boost that research shows comes with walking to school. Bruce Pauling Road Safety Manager of Wairarapa Road Safety Council is a big fan of the walking pou. “If you‘d like to introduce these at your school, give me call and I’ll walk you through it”.
Deb added, “Later today we’re going to decorate our front gate as another way to celebrate Movin’March”. Movin’March runs from 1-29 March, for more information contact Kirsty Barr, GWRC 04 830 4333 or 0272005111.