Today, September 12th, the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and the education councillor Adolfo Alonso Ferrera, presented the Walk to School pilot project to the press and public. The idea would be that the safety of the students walking to school is the concern of the community, and that the children can also learn to walk to school themselves, increasing their self-esteem as well as supporting healthier habits.
The project has four main principles, “safety, sustainability, quality of life and the relative independence of children”, according to the mayor who added that this was a pilot scheme “that calls for the implication of everyone in the wider education community – “teachers, parents, students and school administrations, as well as the people who live and work in Adeje, who need to work with us to ensure the advancement of the scheme”.
The mayor explained that “the project is continuously developing and adapting to the demands and needs that are being brought to our attention by the schools. What we are doing is working to invite the participation of the larger community which will itself help promote values of respect, social harmony and civic duty to name just a few”.
The plan will see the evolution of a network of safe routes to encourage more children to walk or cycle or use public transport to arrive at their schools. This would also see a reduction in the number cars driving to local infant and primary schools, reducing pollution and traffic jams at school gates, and therefore also increasing student safety. The plan encourages more children to engage in extra physical activities, and contribute to their overall health.
Rodríguez Fraga also stressed that another advantage would be that children would be able “to reclaim what is theirs – the streets, the avenues, the pavements and the parks, and allow them walk on their own or in the company of their friends, thus helping them develop their own self-esteem, social skills and learn through interaction and co-operation”.
The plan would introduce meeting points where children would be met by monitors who would be responsible for ensuring students arrive to school, so parents will no longer have to worry about trying to park outside school gates. In parallel there will be sessions for students about road safety and concerns by experts in the relevant fields, with prevention being the underlying theme.